Dementia Information — Just the Facts

There is a lot of dementia information floating around, but this article will stick to the proven facts, including what the stages look like and who is more likely to get it.
Dementia should not just be an acceptable part of growing old. Many elderly adults’ live long productive lives without every experiencing any of the symptoms. Dementia information begins with defining the disorder. A precise definition is difficult to pin down because it is an umbrella label that includes a wide variety of disorders that can result in memory loss and a loss of self-care abilities.

Much of the dementia information available is related to memory loss. Although memory loss is often considered the price one pays for growing old, and indeed it does affect more patients as they age than younger adults, it is not as predominate as you may believe. For example, only 2% of the population between the ages of 65-69 is diagnosed with any type of cognitive memory loss while those numbers increase to 5% of adults when they are in the age bracket between 71-79 years old. By the time a person reaches 90 plus the chances of having a cognitive memory loss condition increases to a whopping 37% of the age group.

If your loved one is diagnosed with a form of cognitive memory loss, there is some dementia information that you should know. First, don’t ignore the early warning signs which include confusion and forgetfulness that can’t be put down to growing old. An occasional senior moment doesn’t usually include forgetting things like the name of a spouse or confusion on how to get someplace familiar such as the home.

Dementia won’t get better on its own, and even though there currently is no cure for this progressive disorder, there is hope with early treatment options.

Early intervention can help your loved one plan for their future while they still have the cognitive skills to do so. They can look at treatment options and decide about future care before they need it. Once dementia progresses, your loved one won’t be able to make these rational decisions and their moments of lucidity will become infrequent until they stop altogether.

There are three stages of cognitive memory loss to watch for with your loved one.

The first stage is generally where most sufferers can hide their memory lapses or blame gaps on an occasional senior moment. It may be hard for loved ones to distinguish at this stage between normal forgetfulness that is expected as people age and early warning signs of a problem.

The second stage becomes more obvious as the person experiencing memory loss can no longer hide the fact. They may begin showing signs of anxiety and fear that are not normal, lose their short term memory and become socially isolated as their ability to care for themselves diminishes. It is important to plan at this stage for the final stage which is stage three.

By this stage, the patient can no longer care for themselves, and their ability to communicate is greatly impaired. By this stage round the clock care is needed and moments of lucidity are almost completely gone.

And finally, remember that with early intervention it is possible to help your loved one live as normal of life as possible for as long as possible. Find all the dementia information you can to battle this frustrating condition.

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Article by: Aloysius Aucoin

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