• Clara Miller

Understanding Dementia

Everyone forgets somethings. Misplacement of keys, forgetting a word here and there, and forgetting why you walked into a room are all aspects of normal life that everyone experiences. But when those instances of little forgetfulness grows greater, then there may be an issue. It is very important to be aware of your memory level, especially with ageing. It is also important to be aware of our loved ones memory and their mannerisms. It is often difficult to sense if you are changing and sometimes easier to notice others. It is important to note that people change everyday. There are good days and bad days but trust your gut. If something feels wrong or off, it is always better to say something and have it be checked out then not.


Dementia is not a single disease by itself, it is a collective term that describes various symptoms of cognitive impairment. Getting dementia is not a normal part of aging, but as we age the chances of having dementia also increase. There are a lot of cases of dementia throughout the world. Although it is impossible to get a specific number, it is estimated that there are 47.5 million people worldwide with dementia. One new case of dementia is diagnosed every 4 seconds.


It is important to discuss everything with your doctor. This includes your memory and changes in behavior. Often people blame getting older for a decline in memory. While that does happen, there is a difference between normal forgetfulness and dementia. Only a doctor can diagnose someone with dementia but the first signs usually come from the individual or their family members. If you are concerned, talk to your doctor right away. There is no single test to diagnose dementia so your doctor may order multiple tests in order to get to the route of the issue.


Currently, there is no cure for dementia. But there are ways to manage the symptoms that can hopefully slow the progression of the disease. These management ways include a variety of medication and therapies. Usually dementia is managed by a mixture of ways. Your doctor will help find what is right for you. Having a person with dementia live with you will also require some changes in lifestyle to help the individual stay safe. Establishing a daily routine will help the person establish a ritual and therefore will feel more confident in themselves. Limiting surprises will help the individual be less frustrated when they can’t remember what is going on. If they start to wander in is important to consider putting alarms on doors so you are alerted to when they leave the house. You can also get them a wearable tracking device that you can use just in case they get loss.


The key to taking care of a person with dementia is patience. Have patience for the person and have patience with yourself. It is important to take care of yourself to avoid burnout. It is a marathon when caring for another person, especially when watching someone you love change so much with dementia. Talk to your doctor right away if you are worried about yourself or your loved one to get help. There are also support groups out there for people caring for individuals with dementia. You are not alone.

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