Dementia is not a new discovery so chances are that you’ve been directly affected by it or know someone who has. The term Dementia is used to describe symptoms that impact daily living by affecting memory, thinking, and social abilities. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease which typically affects parts of the brain responsible for learning first. Despite the type of dementia, the impact it has on the lives of those affected and their loved ones can be burdensome – mentally, emotionally, and physically. When you notice signs of dementia, it’s important to start thinking about getting dementia care for your loved one. Here’s why…
5 Common Signs of Dementia
Most of the time, symptoms are noticed by someone else, not the person experiencing them. Below, we’ve listed some of the most common signs:
- Memory loss. This could be something like forgetting information that was just given to them or something bigger like forgetting how many kids they have, or their names. This is different from age-related memory loss where a person would forget something for a brief period of time and then remember it later.
- Difficulty using words. If you are having a conversation with someone and they can’t seem to express their thoughts or they use the wrong words for something (like calling a cat a pig), it is likely dementia-related.
- Confusion. We’ve all forgotten what day of the week it is and then remembered as we sat for a moment to think about it. With dementia, it’s easy to forget what year it is or how they even got where they are.
- Difficulty with spatial abilities. Visual problems are common with dementia and can result in having an issue seeing colors, the inability to understand the depth of something, or trouble reading. Typically, if these are present without the presence of cataracts, it is most likely dementia-related, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
- Agitation. If you notice that your loved one has a short fuse for no apparent reason, it’s important to look into this. If they are getting angry or agitated with family and friends or when they’re feeling uncomfortable, this can be a sign of dementia.
When To Get Dementia Care
There are several other cognitive and psychological signs of dementia outside of the 5 mentioned above. No matter what signs your loved one is showing, it’s important to consider Dementia care, also known as memory care, for the sake of their safety as soon as symptoms are there. Once the symptoms worsen and it’s evident that they are affecting the daily living of your loved one, it’s time to go beyond considering and hire an in-home care agency that offers memory care.
In recent blogs, we’ve talked about ways to help your loved one age in place more safely and with dignity. Safety is especially important when your loved one has dementia since it impairs the mind. Imagine your mother not recognizing that a burner is on and burning herself. Or worse yet, placing something on the stove that catches fire. Or imagine your father driving down the wrong side of the road because he forgot how to get home and can’t read the signs. There are so many different scenarios that can show the detrimental effects of dementia on your family.
Memory care is a great option to combat that and can be provided in the home or in a nursing facility. There are two main reasons for memory care – safety and to reduce stress. Being accompanied by someone trained in memory care can help reduce the angst of your loved one and keep them from wandering off. Did you know that 6 out of 10 people with dementia wander and get lost? Additionally, studies show that by providing a more structured environment for those with dementia, they are less likely to be stressed which can cause them to act out.
If your loved one is showing signs of dementia, seek professional medical help from a family doctor and consider in-home care as an option. To learn more about how in-home care works, specifically memory care, schedule a free consultation.