According to the latest statistics, about 5 million people in the United States have dementia. Some people mistakenly think that dementia is a disease. However, this is not true as dementia is a term that covers certain medical conditions.
If you would like to know more, here are the answers to three frequently asked questions about dementia.
1. What Are the Symptoms of Dementia?
Dementia is characterized by a loss of short-term memory along with other cognitive issues, such as a loss of reasoning and thinking skills. Those with dementia might also develop problems with language. People with dementia often have a hard time keeping track of where they put personal belongings, such as their keys or wallet.
They might also have difficulty making meals, remembering appointments, and paying bills. Another sign of dementia is traveling to a familiar place but getting lost along the way.
2. What Medical Conditions Are Associated with Dementia?
One of the most common medical conditions associated with dementia is Alzheimer's disease. This progressive disease occurs when brain cell connections degenerate and eventually die. The same thing also happens to the brain cells themselves. This dying off of brain cells and brain cell connections can result in memory loss. Another form of dementia occurs when there is a lack of blood flow to the brain. This condition is called vascular dementia.
Other medical conditions associated with dementia include:
- Lewy body dementia
- Parkinson's disease
- Huntington's disease
- Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
Mixed dementia is another form in which a person has more than one type of dementia. For example, someone might have both Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia.
3. What Treatment Is Available for Those with Dementia?
While there is no cure for dementia, there are a variety of treatment options that can help to slow its progression and manage symptoms. One such treatment option includes a type of medication called cholinesterase inhibitors. Some dementia patients benefit from occupational therapy, which can help the patient learn coping mechanisms. Other types of therapy focus on modifying the patient's environment and simplifying certain tasks.
For some with dementia, it is not safe for them to live by themselves. If a family member is unable to look after them, the patient may qualify for dementia care in their home. With this type of care, the patient would receive services in their home from specially-trained in-home support professional. Patients in the latest stages of dementia might benefit by staying in a memory care facility where there are specialized services for those with memory loss. Contact a care center for more information about dementia care.