Dementia 101: Everything You Need to Know

Dementia 101: Everything You Need to Know

1. What is dementia?

Contrary to popular belief – dementia is not an actual thing. It’s not an illness or disease, and it’s not any other element. Rather, it is an umbrella term given to describe general mental deterioration. And this mental deterioration can be the result of one of many different factors or causes. Unfortunately, there is no known fool-proof remedy or preventative for dementia. However, there are several suggestions and theories.

Generally, living a healthy lifestyle, full of good nutrition, and mental and physical exercise is one of the best forms of Alzheimer's prevention. Another one, surprisingly, is pomegranate juice, because it is rich in omega-5 and other nutrients. There are even pomegranate pills you can take regularly that are marketed as dementia or Alzheimer’s preventatives.

2. What are the signs and symptoms of dementia?

It goes without saying that the most common sign of dementia is memory loss. It often begins with forgetting names and recent events. But as it progresses, it can start to affect communication and motor function. It is important to note, that dementia refers to serious mental decline. Simple forgetfulness is common and normal for seniors. And you don’t have to panic every time you or a loved one can’t remember a thing or two. It is only when a person’s ability to function on the day-to-day becomes compromised as a result of mental decline, that a person should be tested for dementia.

3. How to get tested for dementia?

There are seven stages of dementia, starting with Stage 1 (no mental decline) and ending with Stage 7 (very severe mental decline). Seniors placed into the categories of the first few stages are considered not to have dementia. And, it is not until Stage 4 (early-stage dementia), that a doctor could actually diagnose a patient as having it.

There’s no simple way to diagnose dementia. This is mainly because, as we said before, it’s not any one thing. Dementia can affect seniors in very different ways. And, it can also be easily mistaken for something else. Therefore, when it comes to diagnosing dementia, doctors must run a myriad of tests, as well as analyze all sorts of aspects from the senior’s life. Things like brain scans, blood tests, mental health examinations, physical ability tests, memory evaluations, problem-solving tests, are all small pieces of diagnosing the larger whole of dementia. Doctors will also look into personal and familial medical history, and may even ask family members for symptoms and odd behaviors seen at home.

4. What are the caregiving options for dementia patients?

Between mid- and late- stages of dementia, seniors will need extensive or round-the-clock care. Some family members try to do the caregiving themselves. But usually, at a certain point, it becomes too time difficult to give your senior a life they want to be living. This is where adult day care centers come into the picture. Adult day care centers not only help with medical and health services. But they also provide a warm place where seniors can partake in fun and beneficial activities.

Want to know more about dementia?

At Northeast Adult Day Care, we love talking about our senior services. And we love doing what we can to help out.

If you’ve got any more questions or concerns about dementia, feel free to give us a call at +1.215.671.0200.

We’re here to help!