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Dementia Care for Seniors

Dementia Care - Representation of Progression of Dementia

How you can help with dementia care

Of all the problems that come with aging, dementia is one of the most difficult to handle. Finding out that someone you love has dementia is heartbreaking. This disease is challenging, but with the right dementia care, your loved one can continue to maintain their quality of life and even a degree of independence.

What causes dementia? [i]

Dementia occurs when the cerebral cortex begins to degenerate. This part of the brain manages thoughts, memories, actions, and even personality.

As we age, our cells stop replicating and producing new ones, and the ones we currently have to begin to die. When brain cells in the cerebral cortex begin to die, cognitive impairments that are associated with dementia begin to occur.

Dementia has many causes. Head injuries, tumors, infections, hormone disorders and imbalances, drug, and alcohol use, and even nutritional deficiencies have all been shown to contribute towards increased chances of dementia.

Types of dementia [ii]

The type of dementia care you choose may depend on which type your loved one develops. There are two types: Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.

Alzheimer’s accounts for nearly 70% of dementia cases. Unusual protein deposits in the brain cause nerve cells to die. As it progresses, it destroys cells that control memory and mental functions.

Vascular dementia is the loss of brain function through a series of small strokes and accounts for about 20% of dementia cases.

Atherosclerosis can cause vascular dementia. This is when fats, dead cells, and other deposits block blood flow in the arteries.

Some factors such as heart disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes, and other conditions can increase the chances of developing both of these diseases.

Mixed dementia is when the person in question develops both Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia.

Risk factors

While some things can increase the chance of developing dementia, some risk factors such as age, genes, and lower education levels can’t be helped. [iii]

However, aging doesn’t mean dementia automatically develops. And some while some genetic factors play a large role in this disease, studies have found that environmental factors such as smoking and a sedentary lifestyle play a more substantial part. Hearing loss, untreated depression, inactive lifestyles, or isolation can increase the likelihood of developing dementia by 30%. [iv]

What are the best ways to prevent dementia?

There is no one exact way to stop dementia from happening. However, researchers have found that the best way to prevent it is by living a healthy, active lifestyle and eating a balanced diet.

Additionally, keeping a healthy weight, regularly working out, abstaining from large amounts of alcohol and smoking, and maintaining healthy blood pressure can also help. [v]

Staying physically active isn’t the only thing you can do to slow down or prevent dementia, however. For example, stimulating games like crosswords, sudoku, word searches, and even video games can help keep the mind alert. [vi]

Learning new hobbies and getting involved in groups or communities that interest you is another excellent way to give your brain the stimulation it craves. Whether it’s your church, a senior community center, or just support groups, social interaction can do a lot for the brain. [vii]

How to treat dementia [vii]

If you or a loved one has dementia, there are several ways to handle it. Medicines help to slow its progression and can help boost mental function, mood, and behavior, but unfortunately, they can’t cure it.

Palliative care is one way to help improve the quality of life of someone who has dementia. The goal of this type of care is to improve the quality of life not just physically, but all around as well.

With this type of treatment, the person with dementia can get help with staying independent and taking care of themselves as long as they can. They can also receive additional support and even counseling to help ease the emotional burden that often comes with this troubling diagnosis.

Get help with in-home care

Dementia care starts with finding the right resources for your particular situation.

Hiring an in-home caregiver is one way to continue living independently during the early stages of dementia. If you are currently caring for a loved one who has dementia, having that extra helping hand can make all the differences.

Dementia is a challenging disease, and you may feel at a loss. As it progresses, negative emotions and feelings of helplessness can overwhelm the afflicted person as their abilities lessen.

For you, the responsibilities and demands of progressive dementia can be just as overwhelming and lead to caregiver burnout.

Hiring a qualified individual through MeetCaregivers will give you the support you need. Whether you need someone full-time or part-time, we can help match you and your loved one with a professional who can make this difficult time a little easier.

Find help for dementia care

MeetCaregivers helps provide the right caregiver for you or your loved one. To learn more, send us an e-mail at info@meetcaregivers.com or call 1-888-541-1136.

We assist with a variety of needs so you can keep your independence. Whether it’s keeping up with housework or more intensive care, our qualified caregivers will assist you. Don’t be afraid to ask for a little help. We are here for you!

For more, check out our Blog. We update every Monday to bring you new information such as in-home care support, additional resources, and senior living.

Sources:

[i] Pharmaceutica, J. (2013, June 20). Causes of dementia. Retrieved June 24, 2019, from http://www.dementia.com/causes.html

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] Can dementia be prevented? (n.d.). Retrieved June 24, 2019, from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dementia/dementia-prevention/

[iv] Ibid.

[v] Ibid.

[vi] FAQs. (n.d.). Retrieved June 24, 2019, from https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-conditions/brain-and-nerves/dementia/faqs.html

[vii] Ibid.

[viii] Treatments. (n.d.). Retrieved June 24, 2019, from https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-conditions/brain-and-nerves/dementia/treatments.html