When a loved one suffers from dementia, it’s difficult for everyone to watch them slowly degrade. Dementia impacts their memory, behavior, and thinking. In many cases, it is progressive and leads to the death of the person.
Dementia itself isn’t a disease, but a syndrome or symptom of other diseases. There are many types of dementia and it’s important to know the difference between them because it impacts their treatment and their decline.
We’ll examine the most common kinds of dementia and how it impacts dementia care. You want your loved one to have the best life experience possible while living with dementia.
Types of Dementia: Alzheimer’s Disease
When most people think of dementia, they’re talking about Alzheimer’s disease. While the exact cause of Alzheimer’s still isn’t completely understood, scientists believe it’s caused by a buildup of protein in and near brain cells.
This creates a cognitive decline that gets progressively worse until it impacts vital health functions. Dementia associated with Alzheimer’s starts small with short-term memory loss and difficulty finding correct words.
It gets worse as memory loss increases, development of behavioral changes, and confusion. Many patients end up in places such as Seniors Home Care. The life expectancy of someone with dementia depends on when it’s caused but can be anywhere from 3 to 17 years.
When a person has a stroke where the brain is starved of blood for an undetermined amount of time, it can lead to vascular dementia. Unlike Alzheimer’s, the decline is in steps rather than gradual. Dementia may be stable for years and then a sudden and noticeable decline.
It’s once again stable for a long time before another sudden decline. The life expectancy depends on the damage to the brain caused by the stroke.
Parkinson’s disease occurs when neurons in the brain begin to break down and die. This commonly leads to difficulty controlling movement that gets worse with time. People with Parkinson’s disease have noticeable shakes in their hands and faces.
Parkinson’s causes a type of Lewy Body Dementia, which is caused by Lewy body proteins in the brain. Unlike standard dementia where there is a decline in overall cognition, Lewy body dementia may cause someone to not know a loved one, and the next day they do.
It also causes movement problems unlike Alzheimer’s. these movement issues include problems with balance, falling, and inability to control movements. It can also cause people to have a blank face that doesn’t show emotion.
Take Gentle Care of People with Dementia
It’s difficult to see the decline of loved ones, but with proper care, they can have a full life. There are many types of dementia, but they’re all eventually debilitating. It’s important to get them diagnosed as soon as possible, so they can live the longest life possible.
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