Alzheimer and Dementia

Dementia is a condition that many people associate with Alzheimer’s disease, but it actually encompasses much more than just the memory loss symptoms of this debilitating disease.

Dementia also includes difficulties in thinking and reasoning, understanding words or language, as well as personality changes. It can be hard to know if an individual has dementia because the signs vary from person to person, and some people do not have any symptoms at all.

However, common symptoms may include:

  • difficulty performing familiar tasks;
  • impaired judgment;
  • confusion about time or place;
  • inability to communicate thoughts and feelings easily;
  • inappropriate social behavior (e.g., speaking inappropriately);
  • withdrawing from family members and friends;
  • forgetting important life events (such as birthdays or anniversaries).

The hardest part of caring for a senior citizen may be figuring out when to step in and help. Hidden signs can include depression, mood swings, or even the simple inability to complete daily tasks like dressing themselves.

Lack of Interest

When a loved one stops doing the things they love, it might be time to start worrying. One sign is when their memory has started failing them and not being able to remember how or why they enjoy certain activities can make some people feel insecure about themselves.

On the other hand, it is sometimes the spouse of the person with dementia who is covering up the symptoms. They do so in an effort to protect a spouse. The partner may resort to completing tasks or finishing sentences for them.

It’s important that you don’t take this as just an excuse for laziness- there are many seniors who find themselves in similar situations because of dementia and other psychological illnesses like depression which manifest differently but still leave patients feeling unmotivated since these conditions impair decision-making abilities- so please never confuse your loved one with simply wanting to slack off!

Eventually, seniors with memory loss lose the ability to participate in activities that they once found easy and entertaining. This is because when someone has Alzheimer’s Disease or another type of dementia – like Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) for example- it can lead to an array of other problems including confusion, anxiety, aggression and depression.

Denial

It’s hard to admit you have a problem, let alone progressive memory loss. Your loved one may start having what they call “senior moments” that increase in frequency and intensity by trying to pass these off as something unimportant, it could be the sign of your senior wanting protect himself or herself from the frightening diagnosis.

When people are getting worse instead of better, they may be afraid to admit that it might have something to do with Alzheimer’s disease. In their fear and denial, many will keep themselves at home until the condition deteriorates past any hope for treatment.

Refusing Help

So what are the consequences of refusing help? Well, seniors with early-onset dementia may be reluctant to ask for help because they don’t want their loved ones to find out that anything is wrong. Rather than asking for assistance in tasks, these people feel like it would betray who they once were and instead choose not to do things themselves as a result. 

 Again, this may be due to their fear of losing their independence. The senior may feel if they are “outed,” they will have to move out of their home and in with a family member or to an assisted living community.

 

“As the population of Americans age, it is estimated that nearly 7 million people in the United States are living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. However, many people don’t know what to do if they suspect a loved one may be suffering from this condition.”

 

How do you cope with your loved one forgetting everything?

It can be devastating to receive a dementia diagnosis. But getting help sooner rather than later may prevent accidents, financial problems, and other troubling consequences of dementia behaviors in the elderly. Learn ways your loved one may be covering up dementia symptoms and understand steps you can take to help.

It may help to speak with your both of your parents to see if you can paint a true picture of what is truly happening in their lives.  The first thing you can do is ask them if they’re happy with their situation at home or work.  If they are not able to answer this question, then it’s time for more assessment and intervention.

It can be a difficult decision to know how someone would like their diagnosis handled if it comes too late for treatment. There are many decisions that need to be made, such as who will care for them or should they have another family member take over managing finances?

You also want the person you love and trust most in your life by your side during hard times when memory loss persists and safe driving is impossible. These discussions with loved ones may help ease any worries of what might happen down the road so there’s no regrets later on about not talking things through beforehand!

 

 

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