You are currently viewing Dementia: What is it? How does it affect everyone?

Dementia: What is it? How does it affect everyone?

 Dementia is a word we all know. We either have a family member who suffers from it, or know someone who has a family member who suffers from it. Even though we may have seen people with dementia, Do we actually know much about it?

In this post we are going to discuss:

What is dementia?
What are the types of dementia?
What causes dementia?
Who are at risk for dementia?
How is dementia treated?

Let’s get started:

What is dementia?

Dementia is not a disease but a term used to describe the inability to think, remember, or make any decisions that interfere with everyday tasks. People generally believe dementia is a normal part of getting old, but it is not.

What are the types of dementia?

There are many different forms of dementia, but the most common types are Alzheimer’s and Vascular Dementia.

Alzheimer’s Dementia accounts for 60-80% of all dementia patients. There are more than 5 million Americans who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s disease usually begins with memory issues. The person mat be confused on the year or the day of the week. They may have problems speaking of writing. They usually show poor judgement and personality changes. They may even lose things.

Vascular Dementia usually occurs after a stroke. Vascular Dementia’s symptoms are related to the part of the brain affected by the stroke.

What causes dementia?

Dementia is caused by damage to nerve cells and their connections throughout the brain. When these nerve cells become damage or stop functioning, communication in the brain is affected. This causes problems in thinking, behavior, and feelings.

Risk Factors for dementia?

Age: Dementia risks increases with age. 65 and older.
Family History: Those with a family history in parents of siblings.
Race: African Americans and Hispanics
Poor Health: Those with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking.
Traumatic Brain Injury

How is dementia treated?

There is currently no cure for dementia. Your provider usually focuses on slowing down the symptoms of dementia. They may prescribe medications to help with anxiety and behavior changes. They often recommend a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle includes regular exercise, maintaining social contact with loved ones, healthy eating, and decreasing other chronic diseases.

Remember dementia is a disease that not only affects the person dealing with the disease, but also the ones caring for the individual. This disease can cause frustration for both the family member and the caregiver. We want to stress to the caregiver of someone with dementia to also take time for yourself.

Support groups for individuals with dementia:

Support groups for caregivers of dementia patients