Are Adult Day Services right for you and your loved one? Well, there are questions each of us has to ask to determine that. Adult Day Service is NOT a place to leave your loved one, where they will be "ignored all day" until you return. It IS a place where your loved one will be loved and cared for until you can pick them up or have them picked up. We will get to those questions in a second...
So, we know enough to be aware that, as of now, there is no cure for Dementia. There is no stopping it, no slowing it down. So what is the point? What possible difference can it make to KNOW for sure?
No one wants to admit that they or someone they care about could have such a devastating condition and even though you're worried, you might think it's useless to get a diagnosis because there's no cure. But ignoring it isn't going to make it go away. There are important reasons you NEED to know.
If someone you love is experiencing cognitive challenges or acting strangely, and maybe they are an older adult it can be natural to think it COULD be dementia of some sort. After all, that happens a lot to older people, right?
Never assume and jump to conclusions because there are many TREATABLE diseases actually can mimic dementia! That's why it is essential to see a doctor as soon as possible when you realize there's a problem. There could be something going on that could be treated relatively easily. It's important to get the proper diagnosis and treatment.
Frontotemporal dementia or FTD is the 5th most common cause of dementia. It's also referred to as frontal lobe dementia and tends to start at younger ages... It often occurs between the ages of 45 and 65, but can also start as early as age 20! It's estimated that there are approximately 60,000 people living with FTD in the US.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder. It's a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. It develops gradually, usually starting with barely noticeable hand tremors. About 50 – 80% of people with Parkinson’s develop Parkinson’s disease dementia, but the dementia symptoms usually several years to appear.
Lewy Body Dementia is a progressive, degenerative brain disease. It's the 3rd most common type of dementia, after Alzheimer's and Vascular dementia. It can be a confusing type of dementia because it has some symptoms similar to Alzheimer's (except the loss of short term memory) AND symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease.
It's called Lewy body dementia because of clumps of protein found in the brain called Lewy bodies. When they build up, they cause problems with the way the brain works, including memory, movement, thinking skills, mood, and behavior.
Vascular Dementia is the second most common cause of dementia after Alzheimer's. Vascular dementia causes problems with judgment, reasoning, and memory. They can appear suddenly or they could be mild and worsen over time. To complicate matters, Vascular dementia can occur along WITH Alzheimer's, which can make it a challenge to diagnose...
First of all, Alzheimer's is a disease, NOT a normal part of aging. Alzheimer's disease IS the most common form of dementia, and it causes around 60-70% of all dementia cases. Let me give you some facts. It is the 6th leading cause of death in the US. Every 65 seconds someone in the US develops this disease. Between 2000 and 2017 deaths from heart disease have decreased 9% while deaths from Alzheimer's have INCREASED 145%. More than 16 million Americans provide UNPAID care for people with Alzheimer's or other Dementia's. We are here for them.
Stress has different symptoms for different people. It could cause changes in behavior or emotion. A normally calm, patient person may become irritable or weepy when things go wrong. A usually neat person may become disorganized when things go wrong and trust me...things will go wrong.
So you've gotten your loved one to the doctor's office and have a confirmation of the dreaded news... Dementia. Well, they may tell you which type doesn't really matter because they are all treated basically the same...medically. But for the caregiver, there IS a difference. Knowing what it is you are dealing with makes living with it, day in and day out, a little bit easier.
We all do those things, right? "Where did I park?" "Where did I leave my keys?" "I picked up milk, right?" "Where did I leave the kids?" Ha! Got you there, maybe not the kids... But we all forget things, maybe more so as we get older, but that's normal! It happens! Don't panic! Sometimes it's easier to see in others than in yourself. Maybe a loved one especially because you are used to their habits. You KNOW when things are "off". Maybe you ask yourself, what specifically you should be looking for?
What is Dementia?
Not too long ago, this seemed like an easy question! The answer was -something all old people eventually get. Boy was I wrong! Until you live with it, until it comes to your house you have no idea.