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Rethinking Dementia

Nov 15, 2016 by Miracle Mile Comfort Keepers

Understanding Dementia

There are several types of dementia, the most widely known (and most common) is Alzheimer’s Disease. Other forms of dementia include vascular dementia, dementia associated with alcohol and drug abuse, fronto-temporal dementia, dementias caused by head injuries, Parkinson’s Disease or even depression.

Stages of Dementia

Dementia is typically classified into three based stages: early, middle and late. In most cases the disease is progressive and irreversible, however, there are several treatments available (both pharmacological and non-pharmacological). Most of the non-pharmacological treatments are centered around diet and lifestyle changes that may help slow the advance of dementia. Pharmacological treatments and recommendations change almost weekly and are beyond the scope of this article. For up to the minute news regarding treatments involving prescribed medicines consult your doctor.  You should consult your physician anyway if you suspect you or your elderly loved one is exhibiting signs of dementia.

Getting to Know Dementia

If your loved one has dementia there are a few steps you can take to better understand the causes of dementia, how it can affect your senior loved one and what you can do to assist them in continuing to lead a productive and fulfilling life.

Learn to recognize typical dementia behaviors. Remember to be patient if you see a senior struggling at the supermarket check-out. Help a person on the street who appears agitated, confused, or lost.

Lend a hand: If a family is living with dementia, offer to mow the lawn, take out the trash, or drop by for a visit. Families can use help with day-to-day tasks, and socializing is very important.

Talk about dementia: If you or a friend is impacted in some way, talk about it together. Support each other practically and emotionally, and remain hopeful.

Get involved: Consider volunteering with a local community service agency. There are many opportunities to help.

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