Dementia can be easily confused or misunderstood as a disease itself. However, dementia is not actually a disease, but rather the symptoms of a variety of different diseases or even injuries. This is similar to saying that the flu is a disease, but a fever is a symptom. A fever might be caused by a virus, but it might also be caused by a bacterial infection.
Some causes of dementia include:
-Diseases that affect the brain like Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s
-Serious brain injuries that cause brain damage
-Strokes that cause pressure on the brain and brain damage
-Drug or alcohol abuse and even bad reactions to prescriptions
-Dehydration and malnutrition
How do you find out if your loved one suffers from dementia symptoms? The exact cause of dementia needs to be determined by a doctor, so he can suggest effective treatments. In some cases, the underlying problem can be cured, but in other cases it might only get treated to delay the onset of more severe stages of dementia. For example, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s at the present time, but treatment can delay the onset of more severe symptoms. Obviously, symptoms that are caused by substance abuse or toxic reactions might be cured if the underlying problem can be removed.
If elderly people do suffer from symptoms of dementia, they might not be getting proper hydration and nutrition, and they need to be supervised to make sure they are kept healthy and safe. The simple step of ensuring that these patients enjoy healthy meals, snacks, and drinks might alleviate symptoms to some degree. However, this might mean that these people can no longer function independently for their own health and safety. They may need the services of a home health aid, family members, or even a residential care facility in order to be sure that their needs are attended to properly.
Written By: Tanja Powers, Senior Care Advisor at Adult Care Pro