What Is Dementia?
Dementia is a group of brain disorders that make it hard to remember, think clearly, make decisions, or even control your emotions. There are many different types and causes of Dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is one of those disorders.
Dementia isn’t just about simple forgetfulness — like forgetting someone’s name or where you parked the car. Dementia can have a profound effect on a person’s ability to work, and perform everyday tasks.
Someone with dementia has a hard time with at least two or more of the following:
- Communication and speech
- Focus and concentration
- Reasoning and judgment
- Visual perception (can’t see the difference in colors or detect movement, or sees things that aren’t there)
Often times symptoms of Dementia vary from person to person and symptoms can overlap. Alliance Home Health Services provides health care and companionship to your elderly loved ones. Our staff provides the kind of care that will allow any symptoms of Dementia to be caught early on.
Working closely with your Physician is important when addressing Dementia. Let them know about any medications and alcohol consumption.
What are the Main Types of Dementia?
This is the second most common type. About one in 10 people who have dementia have vascular dementia, which happens when there’s not enough blood going to your brain. This can be caused by damage to your blood vessels or blockages that lead to mini-strokes or brain bleeding. Doctors used to call it multi-infarct or post-stroke dementia.
People with vascular dementia can have different signs, depending on the area of the brain that’s affected, such as problems with planning or judgment. The FDA hasn’t approved any drugs to treat this type of dementia, but you can do some things to keep your brain and blood vessels healthy and try to prevent future damage. These include exercising, eating well, and not smoking.
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD):
This form of dementia involves the loss of nerve cells in the front and side areas of your brain — behind your forehead and ears. Symptoms can usually show up around age 60. Some people show personality and behavior changes and can have trouble with language are the main symptoms. Some people also have a hard time with writing and comprehension.
Types of frontotemporal dementia include behavioral variant FTD (bvFTD), primary progressive aphasia, Pick’s disease, corticobasal degeneration, and progressive supranuclear palsy.
Dementia with Lewy bodies:
Lewy bodies are abnormal clumps of a protein called alpha-synuclein. They build up in your cortex, the part of your brain that handles learning and memory.
This type of dementia causes problems with attention and things like driving early on, along with sleeping issues, seeing things that aren’t there (hallucinations), and slowed, unbalanced movements, similar to Parkinson’s disease symptoms. Memory loss tends to show up later in the disease.
Sometimes, a person has brain changes caused by more than one type of dementia. This is called mixed dementia. For example, you may have blocked or damaged blood vessels in your brain (vascular dementia) and brain plaques and tangles (Alzheimer’s disease) at the same time.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD):
This is a rare form of dementia which happens when a protein, called a prion, folds into an abnormal shape, and other prions start to do the same. This damages brain cells and triggers a fast mental decline.
People with CJD also have mood changes, confusion, twitchy or jerky movements, and trouble walking. Sometimes, the disease is passed down through families, but it also can happen for no known reason. One type, called variant CJD (or mad cow disease, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy), has spread from cattle to people in certain situations.
This is caused by a problem with a gene you get from one of your parents. It affects the central part of your brain — the area that helps you think, move, and show emotion.
Symptoms typically start between ages 30 and 50. Uncontrolled arm, leg, head, face, and upper body movements are the first signs. The brain changes also lead to problems with memory, concentration, judgment, reasoning, and planning. People with Huntington’s disease also have issues with depression, anger, and mood swings. There’s no known cure for it.
Normal pressure hydrocephalus:
The Alzheimer’s Association includes this buildup of spinal fluid in the brain as a form of dementia. Symptoms include slowed thinking, problems with decision making, trouble concentrating, behavior changes, difficulty walking, and loss of bladder control. It typically strikes adults in their 60s or 70s. Surgery to put a shunt in your brain to get rid of extra fluid can help.
Alliance Home Care Services Can Help
Alliance Home Care Services provide a wide range of home care, healthcare, companionship and support for the elderly and their families alike. Keeping in contact and being aware of changes in your elderly loved ones is key to being able to support and address any changes in your elderly loved one.
Home Care Services are an excellent resource for family caregivers and seniors alike.
Home Care services offer a wide range of services providing healthcare, daily living assistance, transportation to and from Doctor’s appointments and tailored care services for additional circumstances.