Dementia is an exciting topic because it is an umbrella of diseases. This is a broad category to describe several other groups of conditions under the category of dementia. It is categorized as forgetting things and losing memory.
However, it does go more in-depth than that. Many times, our older family members start forgetting things, and we get annoyed, that does not always mean they have a form of dementia. We naturally begin losing our memories as we age.
What is Dementia?
Harvard Health says, dementia is a large-term use to discuss someone who has symptoms of memory loss, a decline in language thought and structure, a lack of problem-solving, and motor skills that should come naturally.
As we age, our brain matter starts to deteriorate, and this can cause significant memory problems. There can be very mild to severe dementia cases, each having their names, all having some of the same symptoms but including different stages.
Symptoms of Dementia
When someone is diagnosed with a form of dementia, there will be mental changes, as well as physical changes. Losing your memory is never comfortable if you know someone you believe has dementia. The most important thing you can do is learn about it and try to be understanding. It is much more confusing for the person who has the disease.
- Memory Loss- This is the most commonly identified symptom of dementia, but this can fall under many conditions under dementia. It is something every one of the diseases has in common.
- Communication- There are times when people with dementia will not be able to communicate. They will forget words, sentence structure, and even body language. This can be another source of confusion and agitation.
- Lack of Visual Abilities- This means if someone is undiagnosed with dementia may be driving but unable to find their way home. They may not recognize the same street they have been driving on for 20 years or may not remember other things about where they are.
- Hallucinations- In very extreme cases, a person with dementia can experience hallucinations and cause disorientation.
- Chronic Illness- Due to dementia, some people may experience anxiety and depression. Sometimes these chronic conditions can be managed; other times, they cannot.
- Aggression- There may be a rise in aggression and agitation that may lead to unhappy and mean behavior.
There may be more things you notice about a family member, and if outburst becomes regular or intense, it is vital to get outside help. Doctors and nurses are specially trained for this and can help create one of the best plans.
How Does Someone Get Dementia?
As we age, our brain starts losing connections, brain matter starts deteriorating, and the nerve cells start to die. This naturally leads to dementia, but genes play a significant role in who gets it and who does not.
One-third of elderly adults have a form of dementia, but that leaves many elderly adults who are perfectly normal and sharp. Doctors and researchers continue to study dementia and the other types, to fully understand how our brain works, and they continue to focus on how to cure it one day.
Can You Prevent Dementia?
Staying active and healthy during your younger years may help prevent specific outcomes. However, you cannot control your genes. There are many tests you can get done to determine if you may or may not end up with a specific disease, and there may be treatment plans.
We have not yet figured out a guaranteed preventative measure nor is there a cure. What we can do is eat nutritious, less processed foods, and exercise. Being health conscious is one of the best steps to keep our bodies and minds going.