Alzheimer’s is a term that is commonly used interchangeably with dementia, but in truth, dementia is an umbrella term describing many types of changes in the brain that cause memory loss. In addition to memory loss, people with dementia can also lose control of their motor skills, and furthermore, their identity. In most cases, the effects of dementia can’t be reversed. Here are some types of dementia and how they affect people.
This is the most well-known form of dementia, and is the most common – between three- and four-fifths of dementia cases are attributed to Alzheimer’s. Most people likely have an idea of what Alzheimer’s is; it’s commonly associated with forgetfulness, including forgetting people we are close to. Neurons in the brain begin to die, and in turn, other parts of the brain are affected. People with Alzheimer’s may feel confused, find it hard to talk, or do daily activities like driving, hygienic tasks, or cooking meals. They may develop depression due to confusion or frustration as cognitive changes take place. Elderly people are most affected by this type of dementia, but early-onset Alzheimer’s is possible. While there are ways to slow the onset of Alzheimer’s and possibly reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s, there is no cure.
Lewy Body Dementia
Also known as dementia with Lewy bodies, this form of dementia happens when the nerve cells in areas of the brain dealing with thinking, memory, and movement are covered with protein deposits. This leads to memory loss, possibly seeing hallucinations and trouble with attention. Similar symptoms to those experienced by people suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, like trembling, shaking, and stiff muscles and slowed movement may also be present. Lewy body dementia is the next most common type of progressive dementia, following Alzheimer’s Disease.
This type of dementia is caused by reduced blood flow to parts of the brain, which in turn can affect thinking, memory, and balance. A common cause of vascular dementia includes strokes that block major blood vessels in the brain. Onset can be gradual or sudden, and other effects include poor concentration, confusion, vision problems, and even hallucinations. Just as there isn’t a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease or Lewy Body Dementia, there is no cure for vascular dementia at present. These are just a few types of dementia and are the most common. If you or a loved one has dementia, seeking help is important.
Seeking Help for Dementia
If you or your loved one have dementia, you may feel like there’s no point in seeking help. While people with dementia all have different personal experiences as to what it feels like, seeking mental health support may be beneficial to navigate life with dementia. Here are a few reasons why.
Its Onset can Be Delayed
Not implementing lifestyle changes can make your dementia progress faster. Having a healthy diet and exercise plan, working on mental exercises, and practicing meditation and mindfulness can help to stymie the onset of dementia. Doing these things can help you spend more time with your loved ones, focus and complete your goals, and enjoy things in the current moment.
Your Loved One Has Dementia
If you don’t have dementia, but a loved one does, educating yourself and being informed is important.
If a parent has dementia, there is a chance you may develop it as well. As you learn about lifestyle changes your parents can make, participate in these lifestyle changes with them.
Not only will you be able to spend time together and be a source of support for your loved one, you may also benefit from delaying the onset of dementia if you are susceptible to developing it later in life. Making small changes now can have a big impact later on.
You may also need support for yourself as you are taking care of your loved one. You may feel stressed, depressed, anxious, or overwhelmed. Having a therapist to help you with your problems can make the burden a little easier.
Managing its Effects
When you’re seeking help for dementia, don’t just seek help for the memory loss aspect, but also for other effects as well. For example, someone with dementia may develop anxiety or depression as a result of their dementia and the new way in which they’re experiencing life.
A therapist may help you cope with your anxiety, depression, or anything else that you may have as a result of dementia while navigating your new reality.
Dealing with Grief
If your loved one has dementia, you may be dealing with grief over the fact that your loved one is no longer the person they used to be. They may feel like a shadow of their former self in your opinion, and you may have a hard time coping with that. A therapist can help you cope with any problems you have while you take care of your loved one.
Dementia can be daunting and scary as your reality and perceptions of things around you rapidly change. As we still are working towards a potential cure, managing dementia and its effects is important, and therapy can help those not only experiencing dementia themselves, both those that are caring for people with the diagnosis.
This is a featured post by site sponsor Better Help.
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