Alzheimer’s may be the most common type of dementia, but there are many other forms of it. Some dementias are even reversible with the proper medical care. While the individual is recovering, specialized dementia care can help families meet their loved one’s needs. Reversible dementias and dementia-like symptoms can be caused by the following health issues. Dehydration Sudden changes in a loved one can be alarming, but in some cases, temporary, dementia-like symptoms may simply be the result of dehydration. A person’s awareness of thirst declines with age. This means that seniors are at a higher risk of dehydration, which can cause confusion. Nutritional Deficiencies Individuals who suffer severe malnutrition may develop reversible, dementia-like symptoms. Memory loss and confusion may be attributed to deficiencies in vitamin B1 and B12. People with alcohol use disorder are at an increased risk of this complication, as alcoholism has a strong association with chronic malnutrition. Alcoholism treatment and mental health counseling may be appropriate. Medication Reactions If memory loss and problems with word recall developed after a change in medications, it is possible that this change is responsible for these dementia-like symptoms. Some medications that can cause cognitive issues include the following: Cholesterol-lowering statins Chemotherapy drugs Pain medications Anti-anxiety medications Sleeping pills Of course, it is important for individuals to take medications as prescribed. However, any troublesome side effects should be brought to the doctor’s attention. The doctor may be able to adjust the dosage or prescribe a different medication to reverse the dementia-like symptoms. Anoxia Anoxia or hypoxia is a state of oxygen deprivation. When the organs are not receiving enough oxygen, the person may experience problems such as memory loss and confusion. Oxygen deprivation may be a [...]
It is not uncommon for individuals receiving dementia care to experience delusions. Delusions are firm beliefs in something that is not true. They are not the same as hallucinations, which refer to hearing, seeing, or smelling something that is not real. Some common delusions include the belief that someone is out to harm the individual, someone is stealing from the individual or the individual’s spouse is having an affair. Watch this video to hear some essential tips for dementia caregivers on dealing with delusions. Firstly, never argue with the individual, and never tell him or her that the belief is not true. Offer words of reassurance. Second, consider joining in the delusion. You could tell your loved one that you just spoke with the police, and the person who was out to harm your loved one is now in jail. When it is no longer possible to provide continuous care for your loved one at home, you can rely on Avalon Memory Care for compassionate assisted living services. Call (214) 752-7050 to discuss our mental healthcare for individuals with dementia in Dallas, Arlington, and Houston.
When you have a family member who is suffering from dementia, it’s not unusual to find yourself experiencing sharp and sudden emotions. The gradual loss of a loved one is, in many ways, comparable to experiencing the death of someone close to you. With progressive dementia, this sense of loss is accompanied by another emotion known as anticipatory grief. What is anticipatory grief? Anticipatory grief is a term coined by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, the psychologist famous for developing the notion of the five stages of grief. It is the grieving we experience prior to the death of someone close to us, as we become aware that our loved one will leave us soon. As you notice the gradual disappearance of your family member’s mind and personality, you may begin to feel that the person you knew is already gone. When does anticipatory grief begin and end? The experience of anticipatory grief is different for every person. Many people begin to experience it as soon as they realize that they are losing their loved one, while others begin to grieve once their family member’s dementia symptoms have become difficult to overlook. Most of the time, anticipatory grief only ends at the death of the loved one. Is anticipatory grief normal? It is completely normal to experience anticipatory grief. Many people find that they have already gone through the grieving experience by the time their family member passes away, while others still feel the grief of bereavement just as vividly. Other people find that going through anticipatory grief provides them with a greater sense of closure in the end, as they are given the time to come to terms with their loved one’s death before it happens. Avalon [...]
Parkinson’s disease is an incurable neurological disorder, with progressively worsening complications. Perhaps the most well-known symptom of Parkinson’s is a hand tremor, but it can also cause speech changes, muscle rigidity, and impaired posture. Eventually, as the disease progresses, more than half of all individuals with Parkinson’s will require dementia care. This particular type of dementia is referred to as Parkinson’s disease dementia. Parkinson’s disease causes devastating changes of the brain. These changes first begin in the area of the brain responsible for movement. Eventually, the effects spread, and begin to affect executive function. Specifically, people with Parkinson’s disease have abnormal deposits called Lewy bodies. Lewy bodies are primarily comprised of a protein called alpha-synuclein. Lewy bodies are also a hallmark of Lewy body dementia, although this type of dementia and the dementia associated with Parkinson’s disease are not necessarily the same. In addition to Lewy bodies, Parkinson’s disease dementia is characterized by the development of plaques and tangles, which are both also present in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Symptoms On average, people with Parkinson’s disease who develop dementia do so in about 10 years after the initial diagnosis. Some of the common signs and symptoms of this type of dementia include: Problems with visual information interpretation Muffled speech Visual hallucinations Irritability and anxiety Depression Problems with concentration, memory, and judgment Sleep disturbances Diagnostic Guidelines There is no single test that can definitively diagnose Parkinson’s disease dementia, nor is there a combination of tests. Primarily, a diagnosis is based on a doctor’s observation of the symptoms, and the timeframe in which those symptoms developed. For example, if dementia symptoms developed within one year of the onset of the movement symptoms of Parkinson’s [...]
The process of diagnosing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia can be complicated, since there is no single test available. However, having a diagnosis as early as possible is preferable, as it gives individuals time to explore their assisted living options. When you watch the accompanying video, you will hear about the steps in the diagnostic process. First, the doctor will start by conducting a thorough review of the individual’s medical history. The doctor will talk to the individual and his or her family members about the symptoms they have noticed. Medical tests can help rule out other possible causes. The doctor can also guide the individual through cognitive tests. Avalon Memory Care welcomes inquiries from individuals diagnosed with dementia who would like to begin planning for their long-term assisted living needs in Houston, Arlington and Dallas. Call (214) 752-7050 to request a tour of our beautiful, home-like memory care locations.
Families dealing with dementia have many difficult decisions to make, including whether to provide care at home or move the individual to a dementia care location. This is a decision that Gloria will eventually have to make. You will meet Gloria and her aging mother, Geraldine, when you watch this featured video. For now, Gloria is her mother’s primary caregiver. Geraldine is relatively high functioning, but that will eventually change, and her needs will become more intensive. During her interview, Gloria reflects on the many challenges of providing continuous care. Sometimes, she feels as though she is missing out on her own life because she can no longer travel or enjoy the activities she loves. Avalon Memory Care in Dallas, Houston, and Arlington is home to residents who need professional, loving dementia care. Families can reach us at (214) 752-7050.