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Understanding and Coping with Dementia by Angela Richardson

By at February 13, 2014 | 7:49 am | Print

Sometime you will hear an older person say I just had a senior moment, when they forget what they are about to say. I had a client that would go into her bedroom to get something and come back I forgot what I was looking for, but then later remember what she went into the room to get. The family member would say to me that, I think mom is getting dementia. Let’s define dementia, what is Dementia? Dementia is a general term for decline in mental ability serve enough to interfere with daily life. As we age our memory isn’t as sharp, we forget things, example like why we went into a room or where we put our keys to the car doesn’t mean that you have dementia, as long as you know what the keys are for and that you are aware that you went into the room and forgot what you were looking for. Dementia is rare before the age of 60. This disease is affecting the elderly, knowing someone that you love has this serious disease it’s very hard to watch them day by day, months by months and year by year. Many dementias start off slow and gradually get worst and some has aggressive dementia. Dementia get worst as you age. Before the age of 65 is very rare to be diagnose with this disease.

This is paper is to help you understand and cope with dementia. Symptoms of Dementia must be significantly changed in your memory loss considered: memory, communication and language, ability to focus and pay attention, reasoning and judgment and visual perception. The cause of dementia is the damage to the brain cells. The damages to the brains cells causes not to be able to communicate properly, thinking, even the behavior and feeling a problem. The researchers has not really pin point what really causes dementia if genetics or age, but researchers still going on to stop and prevent dementia. Risk factor when your blood vessels is damage in your brain cause the brain cells to be depriving brain cells with food and oxygen. Changes in the blood vessels in the brain are link to vascular dementia which is cause by other dementia including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies which cause a faster decline. You can start by protecting your brain by eating fruits and vegetable,  good Mediterranean diet also can help protect your brain, low sodium, low fat diet, watching your cholesterol, keeping your blood pressure under control and maintain healthy weight, and also can challenging your brain with different type of puzzles.

Not everyone will go through the different stages. There are seven stages of Dementia. Stage One, No impairment mean still able to function with daily living, no changes or sign of memory problems.  Stage Two, Very mild decline you will see some changes like forgetting the words that used daily, location. Stage Three, Mild decline losing and misplacing object, others like friends or family and physicians begin to notice changes. Stage Four, Moderate decline having problems performing daily task such as planning dinner, paying bills also become withdrawn. Stage Five, Moderately severe  begin to need help with different activities, forget their address and phone number, sometime get confused about where they are going and for what,but at this stage don’t need help going to the toilet or eating. Stage Six, Severe decline memory becomes worse, losing awareness of recent place or places they have been that day or the day before, having trouble with their memory, need help dressing making sure that the shirt or pants on right, sleep pattern begins to change, will stay up for three days in a row then will go to sleep on the 4th day or sleep all day and up all night and begin to wandering around the house or try to get out the house. Stage Seven, Very severe decline this is the final stage the individual will need help with their daily personal care needs like bathing, eating and using the toilet. Sometime the individuals will not be able to smile, hold their head up because of the reflect becomes abnormal and swallowing becomes a big problem.

Coping with Dementia is not an easy thing, losing your memory and you have good health and vibrant.   Contact the Alzheimer’s Association so you can learn more about the disease, get in a support group, and allow your family and friends to help you, talk about it to others. Getting out the house also help, go to places that you love, take a walk in the park, listen to music and go to plays. Medication for dementia doesn’t stop the disease, but sometime it can help you with day to day living. To all the caregivers, taking care of a person with dementia is a 24/7 days a week job, never stop. It’s very challenging and stressful. As a caregiver you need to eat right, exercise, meditation taking care of yourself as well. Sometime taking care of other you begin to neglect your health, and bills, personal care. Know the 10 signs for Dementia, confusion; don’t know what day or the dates, understanding, forget where you are or how to get back home, having trouble with your vision, difficulty reading, solving problems, daily life tasks forgetting names especially family and close friends, being able to speak or write, misplacing things often, poor judgment, remove yourself for social hobbies or activities change in mood fearful, depression or anxious.

If you have two or more of these signs please contact your physician, early opportunities for treatment  help you get to understand and sometime can help slow the process down.




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