When a senior loved one begins exhibiting signs of dementia, it can be a frightening experience for friends and family. However, some forms of the disease aren’t permanent and are potentially even reversible. Doctors and nurses often use a mnemonic device to rule out the top causes of reversible dementia, and each one begins with a letter in the word itself.
D Is for Drugs
Whether it’s a new prescription, an over-the-counter medication, or even something recreational, drugs can impact cognitive abilities. Find out if your loved one is taking something new, and if so, talk to his or her doctor about side effects. If drugs are the cause of the dementia, the doctor can change the dose or look for an alternative medication.
Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Vancouver seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.
E Is for Eyes and/or Ears
As your loved one gets older, he or she is at greater risk for hearing and vision loss, and both can lead to dementia-like symptoms. Look for signs your loved one is having problems with hearing or vision. Regular vision and hearing exams can help you get to the bottom of the issue and potentially even prevent it.
M Is for Metabolic Disorders
Diseases that impact the endocrine system or the metabolism can also lead to dementia, especially when they go untreated for long periods. Metabolic disorders may include problems such as diabetes and thyroid disease. A trip to the primary care doctor and some blood work can rule these out.
E Is for Emotional Issues
Seniors are also at greater risk for developing emotional issues such as anxiety and depression, and some of the symptoms mimic dementia, which is one reason it’s important to keep an eye on your loved one, especially if he or she is going through major changes. The death of a loved one, moving, losing independence, serious health conditions, financial difficulties, hospitalization, and feelings of isolation can all lead to emotional issues.
Caring for a loved one with dementia can be challenging, but compassionate help is available. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
N Is for Nutrition and/or Neurological Issues
Poor nutrition, particularly a lack of B vitamins, can lead to dementia-like symptoms. Make sure your loved one is eating a well-balanced diet, and consider talking to his or her doctor about a multivitamin. Some neurological disorders, many of which are treatable, can cause reversible dementia too. Again, if you suspect it’s a neurological issue, talk to your loved one’s doctor immediately.
T Is for Tumors and/or Trauma
Tumors, both cancerous and benign, can impact brain function, depending on where they grow. Trauma from an accident, particularly a head injury, can also lead to dementia-like symptoms. If your loved one is injured, it’s best to have a doctor check him or her out, even if the injury doesn’t seem severe.
I Is for Infection
If your loved one has a urinary tract infection (UTI), dementia may be one of the symptoms. As a matter of fact, your loved one may not even display other more common UTI symptoms. If your loved one is experiencing a sudden onset of dementia-like symptoms, ask the doctor to rule out a UTI.
A Is for Alcohol Use
Alcohol can impact the brain, and that impact can worsen with age. It can even cause something called alcohol-induced dementia. If your loved one drinks, make sure it’s at a healthy level and doesn’t interfere with any medications he or she takes. Even if your loved one didn’t drink previously, major life changes and emotional distress could lead to increased alcohol consumption.
Highly trained caregivers with experience in caring for seniors with dementia can be a fantastic resource for family members. Families looking for top-rated Vancouver senior care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. For compassionate, reliable in-home care, trust the experienced professionals from Home Care Assistance. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (778) 279-3634 to learn about the high quality of our in-home dementia care services.