Dementia is a medical term that often describes memory loss and is defined as the loss of intellectual skills (such as thinking, remembering, reasoning) severe enough to interfere with a person’s daily functioning. It is not a disease in itself, but rather a group of symptoms, which may accompany certain diseases or physical conditions. The cause and rate of progression of dementias vary. There are also more that 100 conditions that may cause or mimic dementia such as depression, brain tumors, nutritional deficiencies, head injuries, hydrocephalus, infections, drug reactions, and thyroid problems. It is critical that all persons experiencing memory deficits or confusion undergo a thorough diagnostic evaluation. This requires a complete evaluation by a physician who specializes in the diagnosis of demanding disorders. The process will help the patient obtain treatment for the conditions, aid the patient and family in planning future care, and provide important medical information for future generations.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common of the dementing disorders, affecting as many as 4 million Americans. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative disease that attacks the brain and results in impaired memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include a gradual memory loss, decline in ability to perform routine tasks, disorientation to time and place, impairment of judgement, personality change, difficulty in learning, and loss of language and communication skills.
If you are challenged with the care of a senior that is displaying any of the symptoms described above, I encourgage you to engage their physician and ask about a geriatric evaluation as soon as possible.
Seniors with Alzheimer’s Dementia represent an area of caregiving that is most challenging to their adult children or those that are providing for their care. Generally speaking, seniors that have Alzheimer’s Dementia remain happier if they are in their familiar surroundings; if they can remain living in their home. Professional caregivers are best suited to work with Alzheimer’s seniors. If you have questions or if you would like further information about caregiving for seniors with Alzheimer’s please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.