Your No-Nonsense Guide to Understanding Dementia
According to the World Health Organization, there are at least 47 million people around the world living with dementia. But what’s more alarming is that this number is projected to increase to 75 million by 2030. This is why memory care has never been so important and it all begins with a proper understanding of what exactly dementia is and what can be done to take care of a loved one who is affected by it.
Dementia is a syndrome, not a disease
Contrary to what most people believe, dementia is not a disease but a progressive syndrome caused by different brain illnesses affecting thinking, memory, behavior and the ability to perform activities of daily living. While dementia can affect anyone, it’s most prevalent among the elderly who need memory care the most, but it is not a part of aging.
Changed behavior is one of the biggest challenges in dementia
Dementia is overwhelming not only for the person affected but for the caregiver too. This is mostly due to a change in behavior that can be the most difficult to accept and can hinder memory care. But the most important thing to remember is that while you cannot control changed behavior since it is part of the condition, you can make adjustments to how you deal with your loved one so you can still ensure a good relationship with them and maintain their quality of life.
One of the best ways to come to terms with changed behavior is to have a strong support system like other family members and friends. You should also talk with a doctor about it because behavioral problems may be a sign of an underlying medical condition or it could be an adverse reaction to a medication.
Dementia is not just about memory loss
While most of us think that having dementia only means losing one’s memory, it can also affect a patient in other ways. Someone with dementia may have hallucinations or delusions, disorientation, behavioral changes, poor communication, and even unusual cravings.
Every dementia patient is different, which is why it’s very important to consult a doctor the moment you notice any changes in your loved one.
It is possible to live a happy life with someone who has dementia
There are many people around the world with dementia who are still enjoying a good life with their families, and you can do the same with a little bit of patience, creativity and a whole lot of love. Proper communication is key in memory care and you can start by understanding what your loved one’s needs are. Use simple words and sentences, make sure that there are no distractions around when you’re trying to communicate with your loved one and listen more than you talk.
Caring for a loved one with dementia is a long journey. You will need time to accept the fact that the person you love may not be the same anymore and that you will need to take them to a nursing home so they can get the best care possible. But with the right understanding of this condition and a strong support system, you can definitely get through this journey with your loved one.
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