Getting old is inevitable and it is something that we must face gracefully. Most people will feel like the changes in their lives happen gradually. While for some, there is a sudden feeling of being detached because of dementia. In this article, I will be talking about my experience as I faced one of my greatest fears, losing the old me due to dementia.
Our general health as individuals who are in our senior years is very important. We need to constantly ear the right food, exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle. These are the most important considerations we need to take whenever we think about dementia. This condition may happen inevitably for most people but you can always do something to lessen the risk. To help you understand more about this condition, here are some of my personal accounts about it.
When people talk about dementia, they usually associate it with loss of memory. This is the most common symptom of the condition and it is something that is experienced my older people. Thought there are several cases when younger people also get this condition. Dementia is a condition wherein the person affected experiences symptoms such as cognitive decline. This is a symptom that can be associated with brain function decline. It affects that important part of the brain that allows decision making, learning and retaining memories.
Symptoms Other than Memory Loss
Aside from memory loss, which is the most common, there are other symptoms. First, people with dementia experience difficulty in the aspect of concentration. You may also experience getting confused with things that you usually do and see. Doing daily tasks will become more and more difficult. Even time and places will become vague and difficult to memorize. When it comes to conversing, you may find it hard to look for the right word to say at time. Dementia can also result in hallucinations and delusions. And finally, dementia can also cause changes in your mood.
Stages of Dementia
Dementia comes in seven stages:
- First, the early stage is when the changes are already occurring and behavior is still normal.
- Second stage is characterized by forgetfulness and may seem like normal memory deterioration.
- The third state can last for up to seven years where there is mild decline in memory and changes that are easily noticeable.
- Fourth stage happens for two years where dementia is already becoming more noticeable. You may feel like it is very difficult to do things that you usually do due to moderate decline.
- Moderate severe decline is the feature of the fifth stage where the person already needs help for their personal needs.
- Stage 6 can be a stage of severe decline where the person needs constant supervision. This point can also be characterized by constant feeling of anger and aggression.
- The last stage is known for very severe decline. There is severe loss of speech and the need for professional care.
Causes of Dementia
There are different causes of dementia. The most common cause is Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. It can also be a result of vascular cognitive impairment. Aside from that, there are cases when it results from a traumatic brain injury. The cause of dementia will let you know if you can do something about it. In the diagnosis, the cause has to be dealt with for the symptom to be treated.
The Time When I Started Suffering from Dementia
Alzheimer’s care facilities for seniors often receive patients who are in their 60’s. As for me, I started experiencing the early symptoms of dementia when I started retirement. Just like anyone who started feeling this during the senior year, dementia starts like a normal loss of memory. This is something that you will not be able to notice at its beginning.
Challenges which I Started Facing
One of the challenges that I have faced is not really the memory loss. My loved ones noticed that I started to have behavior changes and mood swings. I started to notice how my family started to adjust on the way they deal with me. Confusion is one of the most common experiences where you would feel like you are starting over again. Aside from being forgetful, even shopping and going somewhere seemed to be very difficult.
Reversing Dementia Tips I Adopted
Senior assisted living homes and facilities are providing tips on how to reverse dementia. There are effective tips that I have adopted. First, I started eating healthy food. This practice includes balancing my diet, eating whole food, and adding healthy fats. I also started exercising, which is also a relaxing activity. And finally, getting checked regularly is another remedy that can be effective in monitoring your progress.
There are also some activities that you can do to exercise your brain. Puzzles and those little activities that can make the brain work are really effective. You can also consider learning new things. These are just few of the natural ways on how you can reverse dementia.
Dementia can steal away good memories and it can make you feel alone at time. This is why it is very important for the family and surrounding friends to be there always. In the first years of dementia, it may seem to be tolerable and you may also feel independent still. However, you will feel the need for assistance on the latter part, eventually likely needing the help of a local memory care facility. Being healthy physically and emotionally are very important for dementia patients. Checking your lifestyle early will help you become mentally focused and active. Dementia should not be something that can bring fear to people.
About the author: Holly is a seasoned writer who loves to create content related to aging issues and everything to do with senior living. She is a frequent contributor to many top online publications including Assisted Living Near Me, where she creates content that is specific to assisted living for older adults, as well as SeniorLivingFacilities.net, where she writes about common issues affecting senior citizens and provides senior living advice.