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Dementia can place a strain on the family members of those who are suffering from it. All too often, families find themselves unable to properly care for their aging loved ones that need help with physical and mental tasks. If your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, it may be time to consider moving them to an environment that will cater to their special needs.
At Summerset Assisted Living we understand that choosing a quality, dementia care facility for your loved one to live in is an important decision. That is why we have professionals on staff who are trained to handle the special situations that arise with dementia patients, such as meals, answering repeated questions, and wandering. Our staff members are compassionate and committed to helping our patients with dementia. You can trust that we will take care of their every need.
If your loved one has not been diagnosed with dementia but you have concerns about their cognition, it is important to know what to look for. In the earliest stages there are subtle signs of dementia to look for; the mild cognitive decline that comes with early stages is often attributed to the normal aging process which can delay a diagnosis. As the symptoms progress it becomes easier for loved ones to recognize that it might be time for dementia care. Some of the signs to look out for are:
A person with dementia will likely find it difficult to remember recently-learned information. While forgetting things is a common part of aging, a senior citizen who is not suffering from dementia should be able to recall new information later on even if they have forgotten it at one point in time. Someone with dementia may forget where they leave things they use every day, such as remote controls, phones, and keys.
If a person begins to have issues with tasks that were once second nature, such as working on their cell phone or computer or going to their favorite spot at the park, this is a likely indicator of dementia.
When someone who has never had issues with following directions when driving suddenly finds it difficult or overwhelming they may be suffering from dementia. The same goes for if a generally math-savvy senior citizen begins having issues calculating their bills.
Someone with dementia may find it difficult to read or to see the difference between colors. They may also find it challenging to judge distances.
Forgetting what they are saying or what someone else has just said and having difficulty entering conversations because of this is a sign of dementia. They may also have less legible handwriting and worsening spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
When a senior citizen begins to experience mood swings or changes in their personality such as becoming depressed, fearful, anxious, or even disinhibited, it can be a marker of dementia. They may also become uninterested in socializing both in their home and work lives and simply withdraw into solitude. Poor judgement and decision-making in someone not prone to this behavior before is another aspect of the personality change you might notice in someone with dementia – they may not understand what is fair or reasonable any longer which can manifest in many ways, including paying too much for things or buying things they don’t need.
Here at Summerset Assisted Living, we provide levels of care specific to both dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. Oftentimes, these two words are used interchangeably, which can cause confusion for patients, families and caregivers. However, according to the National Institute on Aging, dementia is a brain disorder that affects communication and performance of daily activities, while Alzheimer’s disease is a cause of dementia that specifically affects the parts of the brain that control thought, language, and memory.
Dementia is an overall term for the set of symptoms including impaired thinking and memory and is often associated with the cognitive decline that comes with aging. It can be caused by Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease as well as Alzheimer’s. It is true that Alzheimer’s disease accounts for as many as 50 to 70% of all dementia cases, but it is a more specific form of the disease. Unlike Alzhiemer’s disease, some forms of dementia have the potential to be reversed. Essentially, dementia is a set of symptoms, not a disease in and of itself. Other types of dementia include vascular dementia, caused by damage to the vessels supplying blood to the brain; Lewy body dementia, caused by abnormal, balloonlike clumps of protein in the brain; frontotemporal dementia, caused by the breakdown of nerve cells and their connections in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain.
Dementia is any form of memory loss, and the side effects of dementia can vary greatly among those who have been diagnosed. We don’t believe in a standardized approach to memory care, as we understand that it affects everyone differently. The caregivers at Summerset tailor our programs for each guest. Whether your loved one is primarily walking through behavioral problems, fear, or sadness, we want to make sure that they get exactly the assistance they need to live their life to the fullest.
If you are considering senior living for your loved one with dementia, please keep in mind our quality dementia care facility. For more information about our senior living, schedule a tour, or contact Summerset Assisted Living at (470) 231-2357.