In elderly care, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, but dementia can also be caused by a blockage of blood supply to the brain, sustained use of alcohol and head trauma, as well as the damage or death of the brain’s nerve cells.
The onset of the psychiatric and cognitive symptoms of dementia can vary depending on what is causing it, and the location and number of damaged brain cells.
Some types of dementia progress slowly, while other types cause a sudden onset of symptoms.
Warning signs can include when an individual has trouble with new memories, relies on memory helpers, has trouble finding words, and/or struggles with completing familiar actions. There can be confusion about time, place or people, and the misplacement of familiar objects. Depression, irritability and even personality changes can be seen in a person with the onset of dementia. The loss of interest in important responsibilities may be a warning sign, as well as bad decision making. Other psychiatric symptoms, which are also warning signs, are seeing or hearing things, or expressing false beliefs.
These warning signs and symptoms should be observed closely in order to communicate well with a doctor who is an expert in dementia, to follow up with complete medical tests as well as neuropsychological tests for proper diagnosis and treatment. An individual is also likely to need elder care services if they are exhibiting these warning signs.
Families should be aware of the warning signs of dementia, including memory loss and personality changes, in order to provide proper elder care for loved ones and for them to remain at home and be safe. Visiting Angels can assist patients with dementia and provide assurance for their families with living assistance services in the individual’s home. The staff is trained and qualified to care for individuals with dementia, while also providing respite care for their families if needed.
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s National Memory Screening Day is Nov. 15. If you or someone you know would like to investigate the possibility of some type of memory loss, The Visiting Angels office at 452 Pagosa St., Suite 2B, has been designated the local screening location by the AFA. A qualified professional will administer the face-to-face confidential memory screening.
Call for an appointment at 264-5991.