Signs and Symptoms that Your Loved One May be Experiencing Dementia by Tracy Nunez

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“Dementia.” This word invokes thoughts of the elderly: a parent, grandparent, or an older neighbor. 

There is some validity to the common misconception that dementia is an “old person’s” disease; according to the Alzheimer’s Association, one in nine Americans over 65 has dementia.

Did you know that there are approximately ten million new cases of dementia each year and there are over 55 million people living with dementia worldwide? The most prevalent type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, and it may be a factor in 60-70% of cases.

The phenomenon that is known as dementia refers to a decline in cognitive performance that goes beyond what is expected from biological aging.

In its early stages, dementia develops gradually, so the early stages are frequently disregarded. Early signs might include getting lost in locations you know well. As dementia advances to the middle stage, signs and symptoms may include losing track of recent events and names of people, experiencing confusion at home, having ongoing problems with communication, needing help with personal care, and displaying altered behavior such as wandering and persistent inquiry.

Dementia’s late stage is characterized by almost complete reliance and inactivity. Physical symptoms and indicators of memory problems are serious and include the following: losing awareness of the moment and location, having trouble identifying family members and friends, needing assistance with self-care more frequently, or having trouble walking and displaying altered behavior that could be more aggressive.

If you are witnessing some of these symptoms, keep a notepad to document and make an appointment with your primary care doctor right away.

The third Monday in January is typically a day off from work for many people, but don’t let the occasion of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday pass without taking a moment to consider his life and legacy. King was a great humanitarian and the inspiration found in his speeches can be applied in all different stages of life:

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?”

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

I have been a professional in caregiving since 1999 and I have seen that even if feeling alone is a contributing factor to the issue, you are not alone if you are the primary caregiver of a loved one who has dementia. It happens frequently to that spouse or child that takes on the responsibility of caring for the loved one while other family members stay aloof, unconcerned, or in denial.

You might want to think about homecare choices depending on how far the sickness has advanced, how eager your loved one is to leave their house, and how much money you have to spend.

You can follow Compassionate Angels Home Care for more information on caregiving.

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