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What Is Dementia?
Symptoms & Signs of Elderly Dementia

Dementia is a condition and a disease. It affects the day to day life of many seniors all over the world. Recognizing the signs of this condition is very important and can help understand the reason for changes in behavior.

What are the signs of Dementia?

There are many to look for. Some may be so slight that it takes a while to realize what is happening. Here are some of the symptoms to watch for.

Confusion/ Forgetfulness ie; names, directions, events.
Depression / Withdrawal ie; lack of interest of normal activities, low energy levels.
Personality /Behavior ie; Frustration, lack of trust, agitation, falling, staring, eating nonfood objects.

People with dementia are often aware of what’s happening and will struggle to maintain their independence. Doing the daily tasks of cooking, cleaning, dressing, driving and managing finances can become overwhelming. This is where family and friends need to provide support.

Causes & Treatment

There are various Causes of Dementia: lack of nutrition, certain infections, mental issues and in some cases reaction to medication. It is a good idea to get a full evaluation for a loved one. Get a thorough exam. Sometimes treatment can restore mental abilities. Most people can improve their memory skills in all kinds of ways. Use medications as directed, stay active, eat well, make lists, set up routines and use your calendar for appointments.

Being a caregiver to someone with Dementia can be challenging, situations change and may keep changing. Being patient and following a routine everyday is very important. Safety in the home is a concern at all times, don’t be afraid to adapt to the situation as needed. Always have time to yourself, ask for help. Remember there are professional skilled workers in this field available, take advantage of their experience. You want to be able to enjoy time with your loved one instead of being exhausted and drained. Taking care of oneself is essential when looking after a family member with dementia.

-Ailbhe Leonard,
Irish Help At Home
March 9, 2017

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