Dementia affects around 50 million people worldwide, making it a prevalent issue that many of us are likely to encounter at some point. Whether you have it yourself or care for a loved one who has dementia, it’s important to understand the facts. Dementia doesn’t mean losing your sense of self; it just means facing a new set of challenges in processing the world.
Here are five facts you should know about dementia.
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia
Alzheimer’s and dementia are often used interchangeably. Dementia is defined by a deterioration in cognitive function.
Someone who has dementia will not necessarily have Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia occurs when there is damage to the brain cells and is associated with having memory loss and trouble keeping things organized. Dementia is the general term describing these symptoms, and Alzheimer’s is a diagnosable illness that often causes dementia.
Dementia can affect young people too
While most people impacted by dementia are over 65, younger people can also experience it.
Early-onset dementia is usually identified when anyone below the age of 65 experiences symptoms. As we begin to understand more about dementia, the focus shifts more to the cognitive processes themselves than the age a person is when they develop it.
There are, however, a few key distinctions between dementia in older people and those suffering from early-onset dementia.
Dementia in younger people is associated with a broader range of diseases. In those who are of older age, dementia is more commonly attributed to the natural aging process.
Genetic testing can give peace of mind
Tests can assert whether a person has the gene mutation present which causes dementia. A person may choose to get testing if another member in their family has dementia, heightening their chance of developing it by around 30%.
This is known as predictive testing and can help a person have peace of mind in knowing whether they will develop dementia later.
Predictive testing is always carried out with genetic counseling so that the person and their family members can be well-prepared. In genetic counseling, trained professionals are made aware of the situation to provide ample support.
Dementia has many different causes, several still unknown
There is a solid understanding of the genetics and brain chemistry associated with some forms of dementia. But many cases of dementia cannot be explained by existing models.
Vascular dementia describes when oxygen supply to the brain is limited by narrowing blood vessels. This differs from frontotemporal dementia, which occurs when the front and side of the brain are damaged.
The first step in dealing with the symptoms is getting the correct diagnosis. While many of the symptoms overlap, it’s important to understand the type of dementia being dealt with.
There is a range of support available
There is no cure for dementia, but there are several ways of supporting those who have it and their loved ones.
Treating any other illnesses which may have influenced the onset of dementia is an effective way to treat symptoms. Other ways to help include having a good rapport with care workers and healthcare professionals. This way, you have a clear and consistent image of its progression and the areas that may need a little bit more support.
If you are in need of an assisted living facility for your senior, Eden Memory Care can help. We are located in Cypress, Texas, and have the expertise and experience to care for your loved one. To learn more about what we can do to help your senior, call us today at 281-935-9115.