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Memory Care Info: Are there Different Types of Dementia?

December 30, 2019 0):?> in: Memory Care (dementia/alzheimers) Uncategorized

The human brain is a remarkable organ that has evolved during our evolution as a species. We have the capacity to think, dream and create through a vast assortment of life experiences, all of which gives us the ability to reflect on short-term and long-term memories that shape our uniqueness as human beings.

Losing your memory can be a traumatizing reality for many people, especially when memory loss is attributed to dementia. The prospect of losing your sense of self and how this affects family and friends who commit to caring for your well-being is life-changing in many ways.

This article highlights the role dementia plays in causing a deterioration in memory loss and the distinct types of dementia that impacts a person’s quality of life.

The Facts About Dementia

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Dementia is a syndrome, usually of a chronic or progressive nature, caused by a variety of brain illnesses that affect memory, thinking, behavior and ability to perform everyday activities.” The WHO also presents the following facts concerning the growing impact of dementia:

  • Worldwide, around 50 million people have dementia, and there are nearly 10 million new cases every year.
  • Alzheimer disease is the most common form of dementia and may contribute to 60-70% of cases.
  • Dementia is one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people worldwide.
  • Dementia has a physical, psychological, social, and economic impact, not only on people with dementia, but also on their careers, family and society at large.

Clearly, dementia is a disease that radically alters the lives of people who face the challenges of losing their memory and are relegated to depending on others to care for them.

Early Signs of Dementia

Recognizing the signs of dementia is vitally important, which is why visiting a doctor to receive an evaluation can shed light on whether the early stages of this disease has started to emerge. In fact, the Mayo Clinic highlights early signs which can contribute to the onset of dementia and include:

  1. Asking the same questions repeatedly
  2. Forgetting common words when speaking
  3. Mixing words up – saying “bed” instead of “table,” for example
  4. Taking longer to complete familiar tasks, such as following a recipe
  5. Misplacing items in inappropriate places, such as putting a wallet in a kitchen drawer
  6. Getting lost while walking or driving in a familiar area

Dementia is an umbrella term that describes different types of conditions that cause deterioration in the brain, ultimately causing memory loss. Taking a proactive stance in learning about the different types of dementia is an important step for anyone who suspects that a friend or relative is showing signs of this condition.

Types of Dementia

Given the broad spectrum of dementia-related conditions, understanding the types of dementia can provide some insight on how to appropriately care for individuals after a medical diagnosis has been established. The Alzheimer’s Association provides the following distinct types of dementia that people should be aware of:

  • Alzheimer’s disease – Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.
  • Vascular dementia is a decline in thinking skills caused by conditions that block or reduce blood flow to various regions of the brain, depriving them of oxygen and nutrients.
  • Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) or frontotemporal degenerations refers to a group of disorders caused by progressive nerve cell loss in the brain’s frontal lobes (the areas behind your forehead) or its temporal lobes (the regions behind your ears).
  • Lewy body dementia (LBD) is a type of progressive dementia that leads to a decline in thinking, reasoning and independent function because of abnormal microscopic deposits that damage brain cells over time.
  • Mixed dementia – Mixed dementia is a condition in which abnormalities characteristic of more than one type of dementia occur simultaneously. Physicians may also call mixed dementia “dementia – multifactorial.”

Memory Care for Dementia

When staying at home is no longer a viable option for people with dementia, many families face the difficult choice of placing a loved one in a memory care facility.

In the long run, this could prove to be a wise decision, as memory care facilities are becoming increasingly prominent in providing safe and activity-focused environments to help people with dementia navigate their daily lives. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) states that “Memory care is designed to provide a safe, structured environment with set routines to lower stress for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia.”

The Future of Dementia

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that “The U.S. burden of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) will double by 2060, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control.”

This fact suggests that unless a cure is developed to treat dementia conditions, the option for memory care currently exist as an integral component in helping patients be part of an environment where they receive support and encouragement in a facility specially designed to care for their needs.

For expert advice, contact us! We are here for you.

1. Dementia - World Health Organization
2. Memory loss: When to seek help - Mayo Clinic
3. Dementia Types | Symptoms, Diagnosis, Causes, Treatments ...
4. U.S. burden of Alzheimer’s disease, related dementias to ...

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