A Beginners Guide to Alzheimers Disease & Dementia

Author

Care Patrol

Posted on

Oct 27, 2022

Book/Edition

Colorado - Colorado Springs

As the people in our lives get older, it’s natural for their mental and physical abilities to slip a little from time to time. Maybe they can’t quite recall that one neighbor’s name, or they decide to finally hire someone else to mow the lawn. But when does normal aging cross the line into the early signs of dementia? And when is it time to consider assisted living?

In honor of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month this November, we’re taking a moment to talk about dementia: what it is, what to expect, and how a senior care advisor can help your family find the best support. A dementia diagnosis doesn’t mean the end of good days for your loved one—with the right senior living community, you can still enjoy plenty of meaningful moments and happy times together. 

What Is the Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s disease is a specific form of dementia, accounting for 60–70% of all cases. One of the major physical characteristics of this disease is the presence of plaques and tangles in the brain. Plaques are clusters of protein buildups between neurons, and tangles are knots of nerve cells. Together, these issues lead to tissue loss and signs of cognitive deterioration.

Dementia is a more general term for various symptoms of decline in a person’s cognitive function.  There are many other causes and types of dementia, including:

  • Lewy body dementia: associated with deposits of a protein (Lewy bodies) that form in the brain and affect brain chemistry
  • Vascular dementia: changes in the brain resulting from blocked or reduced blood flow 
  • Frontotemporal dementia: characterized by nerve cell loss in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain
  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE): common in athletes, and associated with repeated head injuries throughout a person’s lifetime

What Are the Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Memory Problems

Often, dementia begins with what seems like ordinary forgetfulness. But when forgetfulness interferes with daily life, it’s no longer a normal part of aging. A forgotten name here or a missed appointment there may not be cause for alarm. But if you notice a consistent pattern of memory loss, especially if it involves skipped medications or missed bills, it may be time to arrange for a professional assessment.

Trouble with Reasoning & Judgment

The first signs of change may become evident when it comes time to take on a complex task. Whether that task is organizing a party or learning a new skill at work, difficulty thinking or frequent confusion can be a red flag. Judgment problems can also affect a person’s driving capabilities. Frequent accidents, dings and scratches on the car, or getting lost on familiar routes are common early signs of developing dementia.

Changes in Hygiene or Other Personal Tasks

If your loved one has always been a little lax with their hygiene and housekeeping, that likely isn’t going to change in their later years. But a noticeable decline in their showering habits, personal grooming, or household chores could be a symptom of dementia. They may be unable to perform the activities of daily living that they once could, in which case senior care could be the best option for their safety and well-being.

Orientation & Mobility Issues

It’s normal for older adults to have a little more trouble getting around the house than they used to. But dizziness and balance problems are more serious issues. If your loved one has trouble getting up, sitting down, or walking around, they may need extra assistance. Watch, too, for any unexplained bruises that could be signs of unreported trips or falls.

Mood, Behavior, and Communication Changes

It’s common for people with dementia to have difficulty communicating what they mean to the people around them. Watch for consistent trouble finding the right words, uncertainty or confusion when performing familiar tasks, and changes in their personality, like a loss of interest in things they once enjoyed.

What is the Best Care for a Person with Dementia?

Assisted living communities with dedicated dementia care or memory care facilities have a number of benefits. Skilled caregivers at these homes understand exactly how to manage the symptoms of dementia, and they can keep a close watch on the disease’s progression over time. 

From managing medications to helping them with everyday grooming and mobility tasks, the nurses at assisted living communities are there to provide quality care 24/7. And when you aren’t the sole caregiver for a person with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, you have more emotional bandwidth to support them in the other ways that matter most: being a loving presence in their life.

Assisted living residents also benefit from specialized programs designed to maximize their remaining abilities and stimulate their minds with meaningful activities. Remember that social isolation is a major concern for older adults. Quality memory care communities ensure that your loved one feels connected through common areas, group activities, and consistent caregiver relationships.

Find a Senior Living Community for Dementia Care

Receiving a dementia diagnosis for a loved one is never easy. But you don’t have to go through the process alone. At CarePatrol, our senior care advisors are here to help you find the perfect senior living solution for your family. 

They’ll be with you every step of the way: assessing the necessary level of care, touring vetted communities with you, coordinating move-in day, and checking in with you periodically after the transition. If you’re not sure whether it’s time to consider assisted living, take our short assessment today!

CarePatrol: Helping You Find the Best Community for Your Senior Loved One 

Finding memory and dementia care can be a stressful process for seniors and their families. But CarePatrol’s senior care advisors have vetted thousands of assisted living facilities and nursing homes nationwide, and we’re ready to help you find the perfect fit. Best of all, our services are offered at no charge to you. 

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Brighter Tomorrows: Alzheimers Care and Senior Resilience

Seniors with Alzheimers disease set out on a path fraught with uncertainties and difficulties. But this trip also reveals a tremendous potential for resilience, a trait that allows them to overcome hardship, endure, and find hope. Alzheimers care encourages seniors resilience, enabling them to face each day with bravery and tenacity. This blog post will discuss how, despite the challenges of the illness, Alzheimers care increases elders resilience and opens doors to better futures. Comprehending Alzheimers and ResilienceAlzheimers disease is a neurological condition that worsens over time and affects memory, thinking, and day-to-day functioning. Seniors with Alzheimers disease face new challenges every day as they adjust to changes in their abilities and perspectives on the world. In this context, resilience is defined as the capacity to overcome obstacles presented by the illness, adjust to changing circumstances, and recover from setbacks while maintaining ones well-being and sense of purpose. Empowering Through Supportive CareBy offering individualized support and encouragement, Alzheimers care professionals significantly contribute to the development of seniors resilience. By providing empathetic support with everyday tasks, handling medication, and creating customized care plans, caregivers enable elderly individuals to preserve their sense of autonomy and independence. Alzheimers care builds resilience in elders by providing a supportive environment where they feel appreciated and cherished. Encouraging Mental HealthSeniors living with Alzheimers disease may experience a variety of feelings, such as worry, despair, and frustration. The goal of Alzheimers care is to support emotional health by listening with compassion, validating emotions, and creating a supportive environment. Seniors who receive care are able to handle lifes emotional ups and downs with fortitude and grace because caregivers are kind and understanding. Encouraging Meaningful EngagementSeniors resilience to Alzheimers disease is enhanced when they participate in activities that make them happy and fulfilled. With specially designed activities that improve cognitive function, inspire creativity, and strengthen social bonds, Alzheimers care encourages meaningful engagement. Through activities such as music therapy, art therapy, or memory exercises, caregivers provide seniors with the chance to live fully and purposefully in every moment. Developing Relationships and Support NetworksSeniors resilience in the face of Alzheimers disease depends on their ability to maintain social networks and support networks. Alzheimers care makes socialization opportunities easier, whether they involve group activities, outings, or visits with loved ones. In addition to being companions and advocates, caregivers foster relationships that offer support, strength, and a sense of communityall essential components of resilience during trying times. Honoring Milestones and AchievementsDespite the difficulties associated with Alzheimers, each milestone and accomplishment deserve to be honored. Alzheimers care promotes a sense of pride and self-worth in seniors by recognizing and appreciating their accomplishments, no matter how minor. Caregivers strengthen the resilience of seniors by acknowledging and validating their strengths and contributions, which gives them the confidence and resolve to tackle every day.Its important to acknowledge the incredible resiliency of seniors impacted by Alzheimers disease. Loved ones and Alzheimers care can foster this resilience and give seniors the strength, fortitude, and hope they need to confront the intricacies of Alzheimers disease. If you or an aging loved one are considering Alzheimers and Dementia Care in Aurora, CO please contact the caring staff at Talem Home Care & Placement Services today. Call (720) 789-8529At Talem Home Care of Broomfield, we provide passionate, understanding, and flexible caregivers in Broomfield, Arvada, Aurora, Boulder, Brighton, Commerce City, Denver, Erie, Firestone, Lafayette, Lakewood, Longmont, Louisville, Northglenn, Sherrelwood, Thornton, Welby, Westminster, Wheat Ridge and surrounding areas in Colorado.

The Benefits of Choosing a Memory Care Community for Your Loved One

As our loved ones age, memory-related conditions such as Alzheimers or dementia can pose significant challenges to their daily lives. In these situations, finding a memory care community becomes crucial. These specialized facilities are designed to provide comprehensive care, personalized support, and a safe environment for individuals with memory impairments. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of choosing a memory care community like Northwoods Memory Care for your loved one, and how it can positively impact their quality of life. Expert Care and Support Memory care communities, like Northwoods Memory Care, have highly trained staff who specialize in memory-related conditions. They possess a deep understanding of the unique needs and challenges faced by individuals with memory impairments. These professionals provide round-the-clock care, ensuring that your loved ones physical, emotional, and cognitive needs are met. From assistance with daily activities to medication management, specialized care plans are tailored to each resident to promote their overall well-being. Safe and Secure Environment Memory care communities offer a dedicated and secure environment, specifically designed to minimize risks and promote independence. Facilities like Northwoods Memory Care prioritize safety measures such as secure entrances, alarmed doors, and 24/7 monitoring to prevent wandering or other safety concerns. Residents can enjoy peace of mind, knowing they are in a protected space that balances independence and safety. Enhanced Socialization and Stimulation Memory care communities recognize the importance of socialization and engagement in improving cognitive function and overall well-being. These communities provide a range of stimulating activities and social programs tailored to the needs and interests of residents. Group activities, outings, and regular social interactions with peers and staff create a sense of community and minimize feelings of isolation. Northwoods Memory Care, for example, offers a variety of enriching activities from physical exercises to crafts, music therapy, and memory-enhancing programs. Specialized Therapies and Services Memory care communities often offer specialized therapies and services designed to address the unique challenges of memory-related conditions. These may include cognitive therapy, reminiscence therapy, and sensory stimulation programs. Trained professionals work closely with residents to enhance their cognitive abilities, improve memory retention, and promote emotional well-being. Additionally, access to various healthcare services, such as physical therapy or occupational therapy, is readily available to ensure comprehensive care. Respite for Caregivers Choosing a memory care community can also provide respite for caregivers who may be struggling to balance their own lives with the demands of caregiving. Knowing that your loved one is receiving specialized care and support allows you to take a break, focus on self-care, and recharge. This can result in reduced stress levels, improved mental health, and better overall caregiving for your loved one.  Opting for a memory care community, such as Northwoods Memory Care, for your loved one can offer numerous benefits. From expert care, a safe and secure environment, and enhanced socialization to specialized therapies and services, these communities prioritize the well-being and quality of life of individuals with memory-related conditions. Additionally, they provide much-needed respite for caregivers, allowing them to take care of themselves while knowing their loved one is receiving exceptional care. When considering memory care options, choose a community like Northwoods Memory Care that puts compassion and personalized support at the forefront to ensure the best possible care for your loved one.