Caregivers in Willingboro NJ: A Basic Overview of Dementia for Family Caregivers

Caregivers in Willingboro NJ: A Basic Overview of Dementia for Family Caregivers

Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.[1]

There are a wide range of symptoms and dementia types which come from a common cause of damaged brain cells. This interferes with the brain’s ability to function correctly. With this basic awareness of the cause behind dementia, caregivers and others around someone with dementia, may have a bit more compassion for those suffering from this disorder.

Symptoms, aside from memory loss, which stem from dementia include:

  • Problems with short term memory where they might forget where they put their keys or whether they took their medication – but it doesn’t get better
  • Problems staying focused
  • Confusion about locations, people, and even selecting clothing
  • Issues with communicating
  • Eventual changes in personality

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, its important to keep in mind that memory issues are not exclusive to dementia. This means that short term memory issues doesn’t necessarily mean someone has dementia.

With age comes some memory loss. A basic difference is that someone with dementia tends to continue to deteriorate rather than have memory loss now and then or have any improvement to their memory. Thus, deterioration from dementia not only is permanent but also gets worse.

In addition, dementia symptoms are gradual. If caregivers are concerned that their loved one may have dementia, it is a good idea to contact a physician. [2]

There are as many as ten variations of dementia currently known. Some types are divided by which part of the brain is affected. Cortical dementia refers to the types which affect the cerebral cortex. This part of the brain has to do with memory, judgment, and emotion. Subcortical dementias affect the areas below the cortex; areas that relate to focus and thinking.

The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s Disease, which accounts for as much as 80% of the dementia cases. Alzheimer’s is a cortical dementia. [3] Alzheimer’s is considered a slow and progressive disease where the malady can be present even before any of the symptoms show themselves.

Other types of diseases under dementia include Parkinson’s Disease (an example of subcortical dementia) and Huntington’s Disease. Also, Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, though noted under dementia, is primarily noted to be due to B1 deficiency and is caused by excessive alcohol use.

For caregivers who see their loved ones suffer from this deterioration, it can be an emotional process. With new treatments being tested all the time, caregivers may want to keep in contact with their loved ones’ physicians about updates.

Source
[1] http://www.alz.org/facts/overview.asp
[2] http://www.alz.org/what-is-dementia.asp
[3] http://www.alz.org/dementia/types-of-dementia.asp

If you or an aging loved-one are considering caregivers in Willingboro, NJ, please contact the caring staff at TLC Home Care Services today. Call (856) 234-8700 for more information.