Dementia in itself is not a disease. The term refers to a decline in memory and thinking skills or other functions of the brain. Eventually, these changes can become severe enough to interfere with a person’s daily tasks and activities.
Dementia can be caused by several different diseases. Some of the most common are Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Lewy bodies. Other forms of dementia include vascular dementia, mixed dementia, and frontotemporal dementia. These forms of dementia are irreversible, but there are various types of medication that doctors will prescribe to slow down or control the progression and intensity of symptoms.
Some dementia-like symptoms might actually be reversible, though. It depends on what is causing these symptoms. If dementia develops because of depression, side effects from a particular medication, a vitamin deficiency, or abuse of alcohol, then it should be possible to reverse the dementia when/if the cause is treated.
Keep in mind that dementia does not just mean memory loss, although that is one of the symptoms that comes with dementia. Although it has been previously thought that memory loss is a normal part of aging, this is not necessarily the case. Beyond memory loss, symptoms of dementia include difficulty with communication, impairment in language, difficulty with common reasoning and judgment, and a hard time focusing and paying attention.
There isn’t one test that can determine whether or not someone has dementia. Instead, a doctor needs to do a careful study of medical history and changes in behavior or the body. If you start to notice a combination of dementia-like symptoms in yourself or your loved one, make sure to seek medical attention. This will be the only way to determine if these symptoms truly pertain to dementia or if there is something else going on.
There are also a few options when it comes to caring for someone with dementia. Eventually, people with dementia are no longer able to take care of themselves. They forget to eat or turn off the stove, they misplace everything, or they become disoriented and get lost in previously familiar places.
One great option is memory care because a memory care facility can become home to someone dealing with dementia. The staff is well-trained, and the environment. Relatives and other loves ones can rest easy knowing the family member with dementia will be cared for 24 hours a day.
Memory care facilities include not only memory care but also Alzheimer’s care, Parkinson’s care, and care for any other disease that causes a permanent dementia. Within our own memory care community, residents are able to feel as though they still have their independence. They are able to keep their dignity through the entire process as well.
Here at Ledgestone, we are honored to serve the Austin area, including Dripping Springs. It is a privilege to work with seniors who are dealing with dementia and to lighten the load of their loved ones.