A dementia diagnosis can be frightening for both seniors and their family members. Fortunately, not all types of dementia are permanent. In some cases, your senior loved one’s problem may be caused by something that’s reversible with lifestyle changes or additional treatment. Have your doctor rule out these underlying conditions that are easily remembered with a mnemonic device.
D Is for Drugs
Drugs, whether legal, illegal, prescribed, or purchased over the counter, can impact brain function. Even common drugs like antihistamines, diuretics, and benzodiazepines can cause adverse reactions in different people. If your loved one is taking something new or isn’t taking medication correctly, it’s time to investigate to see whether it could be causing the dementia.
Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Pembroke Pines seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.
E Is for Ears and Eyes
A growing body of evidence suggests changes in hearing and vision often correlate with dementia. Many people dismiss them as signs of old age, but if you notice a change in your loved one’s ability to hear or see correctly, it may be time to get those senses checked out by a specialist. Correcting the problems could reverse the dementia.
M Is for Metabolic Issues
Diabetes, thyroid problems, and other metabolic issues can affect function throughout the entire body, especially if they aren’t properly managed with lifestyle changes or medication. In time, they’ll likely impact cognitive function. Thankfully, a blood test is usually all that’s needed to rule out these types of disorders and begin treating them.
E Is for Emotional Issues
Sometimes, the cause of reversible dementia may be emotional, and this is especially common in older people who find they can’t take care of themselves like they did when they were younger. If your loved one shows signs of depression and anxiety, talk to his or her primary care physician about the treatment options.
Caring for a loved one with dementia can be challenging, but compassionate help is available. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of homecare services families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
N Is for Nutrition
Not eating a well-balanced diet can affect the entire body, including the mind, and this is especially true for seniors who aren’t getting enough vitamin B12. A vitamin B12 deficiency often mimics emotional and mental health issues, including depression and dementia.
T Is for Trauma
If you notice changes in your loved one’s behavior after a fall or head injury, that trauma could be causing dementia or dementia-like symptoms. Your loved one may feel fine after the accident, but he or she may be experiencing a hemorrhage or swelling of the brain. These issues are difficult to diagnose in older adults, so even a doctor may miss the signs at first.
I Is for Infections
Have your loved one’s doctor rule out a urinary tract infection (UTI) before any type of dementia diagnosis. UTIs are more common in women, and these infections are confused with dementia more often than you might think. Because the symptoms of the infection differ from those in younger people, many older adults may not even be aware they have UTIs.
A Is for Alcohol Use
Anyone who drinks excessively will show changes in his or her mental state, but seniors have slower metabolisms, so alcohol has a greater impact on their bodies. If your loved one takes prescription medication and drinks at the same time, it could have even more serious consequences. Before assuming your loved one has permanent dementia, consider his or her drinking habits. Look for signs that alcohol may be a factor.
A highly trained caregiver with experience in caring for seniors with dementia can be a fantastic resource for family members. Families looking for top-rated Pembroke Pines elder care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. Call us at (954) 374-8273 today to talk to one of our compassionate Care Managers about our high-quality dementia home care services.