With modern medicine evolving as rapidly as it is, many diseases are being studied and cures are being researched. There’s an especially strong emphasis on treating and curing dementia, a life-changing disease that destroys the memory of the patient. Dementia is most common in seniors and older adults and can be hard to cope with. Today, we want to go into more detail about the disease to help you understand it a bit better. The B’Zoe Home Caregivers are trained in dementia care, and this is just a brief overview of the things they have to learn.
What Is Dementia?
Dementia isn’t really a disease in itself but is rather a broader term to group together various memory loss diseases. Older adults and seniors with dementia loss memories, reasoning skills, and the ability to complete daily tasks. There are over 6 million Americans with dementia today. The large majority of these cases have Alzheimer’s Disease, an incurable form of dementia and by far the most common. There has been nonstop research on Alzheimer’s and dementia for decades, but the final breakthrough has yet to be made. Luckily, dementia can be identified much earlier than in the past, and there are some proven treatment methods that lessen the severity of the disease. Dementia usually affects people ages 65 and older, but there are cases of what’s called “early-onset dementia.” Over time, the person remembers less and less long-term things including how to care for themselves. There are different stages of severities of dementia, each affecting the senior differently. Sadly, dementia is a terminal disease that progresses to a point that can be fatal. In addition to memory loss, late-stage dementia and Alzheimer’s can lead to the patient losing control of their muscles, including those that regulate internal processes.
What Are The Symptoms?
Some people are under the impression that dementia is a normal part of aging. It is a disease that is very common but by no means normal. Seniors do tend to become more forgetful with age, but not to the extent of a person with dementia. Here are some things that are common with old age:
- Forgetting recent events
- Misplacing items and finding them later
- Forgetting a word in conversation
- Not remembering the name of someone they recently met or someone they don’t know well
In contrast, here are some symptoms of dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease:
- Getting confused or lost in a setting that is familiar to them
- Forgetting words of common objects and replacing them with words that don’t make sense
- Forgetting the name of close family and friends
- Having a hard time recalling long-term memories
- Forgetting how to complete tasks they used to do regularly
- Frequently misplacing items, especially when they’re found somewhere that makes no sense (ie. keys in the fridge)
As you can see, dementia symptoms involve forgetfulness with more serious things. We all forget an appointment or a name now and then, but a person with Alzheimer’s will do so often. Communication may become hard for them, and they may lose their train of thought more than usual. If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to set up an appointment with your senior’s PCP.
What Are The Treatment Options?
While dementia sadly does not have a cure at this time, work continues to find one. Treatment for dementia often includes medications and therapies that are proven to slow the progress of the disease. Along the way to finding a cure, several versions of treatments have been developed. Certain medications have been found to slow the disease while also boosting memory and brain activity. If caught early, many dementia patients can avoid severe symptoms for years when they take these medications regularly. Therapy can help seniors manage emotions as well as master simple tasks that are commonly forgotten with dementia. A therapist or professional caregiver cna help you make your home safer for seniors, and can teach you all ways to simplify tasks for them. Something as simple as modifying the home to remove clutter can make a world of difference. If you remove all the baking materials from the kitchen drawers, your senior won’t need to go hunting for the fork they need. The easier it is for them to get what they need, the faster they can do it, and the less likely they are to forget their task midway through. With combined treatments, many patients have seen improvements and maintenance of the disease.
How In-Home Care Can Help.
If your loved one has recently been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s, or if you notice them getting worse, it’s time to start thinking about ways you can help. When daily tasks become too challenging for seniors to do on their own, you can look into care options. Aging in place with in-home care is the most popular choice because it allows your loved one to stay at home but still receive the attention they need. B’Zoe Home Caregiving Services has helped hundreds of seniors maintain their freedom through dementia. Our highly-trained caregivers travel to your senior’s home and will assist them as needed. We offer light housekeeping, companionship, meal prep, dressing assistance, and more! In-home care allows dementia patients to remain in an environment they are familiar with which can help keep the disease under control. Our caregivers will handle the tasks that are too much for your loved one, and they’ll play a major role in slowing the progress of the disease. Our caregivers are trained specifically for dementia care, and they are very comfortable with therapy practices, decluttering, and more. Most importantly, our in-home caregivers will ensure that any and all medication is taken on time every day so they can work as well as possible.
If you’re looking for dementia care for your senior, call B’Zoe Home Caregiving Services. We are a woman-owned business that has helped hundreds of seniors stay comfortable and happy at home. We arrange consultations with you to determine which of our caregivers would be the best fit. Call us today to get started at (206) 953-4900. We look forward to hearing from you soon!