Learning a family member has dementia can be scary, stressful, and intimidating. We have all heard stories of our old grandparents who had dementia, and we pray it doesn’t happen to us. You may be concerned about this illness and may be wondering if you could get it.
Your genes do have to play a significant role in the way you turn out, and doctors now have a test they can do on you to see if you are more prone to something. Though we cannot prevent or cure dementia, staying healthy can be a great way to lessen your risk and development of dementia.
What Are the Major Signs of Dementia?
Harvard Health says that dementia is a broad category of other diseases. They usually develop in older adults and can cause some severe problems. If you think your family member or even you are starting to have dementia symptoms, pay attention to these signs.
- Memory Loss- This is typically what people think of when dementia is brought up. The truth is that there is much more to it than memory loss.
- Confusion- When someone starts forgetting things, there will be massive confusion. This can lead to aggression and agitation.
- Lack of Planning- After dementia sets in, someone may not be able to plan their day, plan for events, or plan their lives.
- Organization- This also starts slipping downhill. Someone may start to become messy, frustrated, and unable to organize how they used to.
- Problem Solving- Someone who suffers from memory loss will also have problems problem solving because they won’t be able to remember the skills it takes to resolve issues. The connections in their brains are lacking.
- Motor Functions- As dementia gets worse with age, motor functions get worse too. This means someone may not be able to balance correctly, coordinate slips, and reaction time drops, becoming much slower than usual.
- Paranoia- This means things can freak them out much easier than they usually would; it also can be incredibly scary.
- Hallucinations- Someone with severe dementia can experience audible and visual hallucinations that may scare them.
- Aggression- Anyone who cannot remember may easily get frustrated with others. When less communication happens, it can lead to unwanted treatment, and someone may not know any other way to get what they want.
Since dementia is a broad category of many diseases, there may be other symptoms or experiences that characterize the specific condition. If you notice any of these symptoms getting worse as time goes on, seeking a doctor who has experience in this field is essential.
How To Help Someone With Dementia
If you care for someone with dementia, it is essential to remain positive and keep the mood light. There will be times it will be hard, you will be frustrated, but it is crucial to be patient and understanding.
Help distract a person through fun and easy activities to help keep their mind as active as possible, but don’t push. You may have to explain things step by step and be with them more than you typically would.
Lastly, ask a doctor for help and advice. You don’t have to help someone all on your own. Having a good support system and getting information from doctors and other researchers who study this kind of illness can be vital in getting through this stage in life.
A doctor will be able to provide medicine that may help alleviate other symptoms like hallucinations or keep other chronic diseases in check. Keeping your loved one as healthy as possible is key to helping them live a long and full life.