The dementia does not indicate a specific disease; it is rather a general term for a number of diseases and symptoms that affect cognitive decline, memory and thinking skills in an individual.
Among the various pathologies, the Alzheimer’s disease accounts for approximately 60-80% of all dementia cases. Let’s find out what are the symptoms of senile dementia, to learn about this disorder.
What are the symptoms of dementia?
The symptoms of dementia can be extremely volatile; to define a dementia, however, it is necessary that there are at least two, among these functions, which are significantly altered or impaired:
- Communication and language
- Reasoning and judgment
- Concentration and attention
- Visual perception
Those suffering from dementia can continually encounter problems even with everyday actions. The short-term memory is affected, and you forget where you placed the bag or if the bills are paid; also prepare meals or remember certain events or dates may become a problem, and often from home journeys become dangerous because patients can struggle to find their way home or forget where they are headed.
Some forms of dementia are manifested gradually, progressively worsening. If you are going through a stage of memory problems or cases of changes in reasoning, do not take the problem lightly. It is important, in these cases, to rely on a medical figure who can identify the cause.
If symptoms indicate dementia, an early diagnosis will be important to use as soon as possible to care and treatments available, as well as give you plenty of time to better plan your future.
What is the difference between Alzheimer’s disease and senile dementia?
The Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia most common and occurs mainly in patients over 65 years of age. The disease is caused by genetic defects that cause the synthesis of beta-amyloid and tau (two proteins that are responsible for the destruction of neurons). Those suffering from Alzheimer’s has short-term memory problems and is unable to orient themselves temporally and spatially; all this come together trouble concentrating and progressive loss of all forms of autonomy.
The other senile dementias have different causes: originate, in fact, because of repeated small infarcts, which progressively damage the brain tissue. In this case, the cognitive disorders are also associated with motor difficulties.
Then there is dementia with Lewy bodies, similar in symptoms to Parkinson’s (tremor and rigidity). Often, there are also hallucinations and sleep disorders.
Latest, the fronto-temporal dementia, atrophy on brain lobes (frontal and temporal). In this type of dementias are typical apathy, irritability, aphasia and dysphasia.
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5 valuable tips for dealing with senile dementia
Despite currently available therapies and aids for the elderly increasingly advanced on the market, it is not easy to help a person with dementia, because of the constant cognitive decline, which eventually prevents the patient from being self-sufficient; so it is important that family members know for sure what to do in these situations, to prevent the interaction with the parent is frustrating or full of problems.
Here are 5 tips for dealing with dementia …
1) Reorganized the spaces in the house: The house must be safe and functional to help the little autonomy that even the patient possesses. Eliminate dangerous objects or those that could easily fall, causing injury to the patient. Remove carpets, which easily cause slips and falls and positioned the furniture with the most functional possible accommodation. Put the handles and additional handrails and non-slip in the bathroom (bath, shower, floor, etc.). Sometimes, you may need to purchase special chairs that help to get up.
2) Avoid changes as possible: The elderly suffering from dementia find it hard to get used to and remember each new habit. Levitate all forms of stress trying to assure a daily life as much as possible “normal” and lacking in novelty. The environment in which he lives should always have seemed familiar, to help it to better memorize everything. Try, if possible, to avoid even vacationers transfers, which perception of space-time; this could in fact also create a trauma to the patient.
3) Encouraged the movement: Physical activity is always important, even in the case of dementia. Help the patient to perform certain activities (consistent with its general health), but ensuring some consistency. Yes to daily walks and fresh air, to ensure the vitality of muscle tone, improve your balance and joint mobility. Modest physical activity will also benefit appetite and constipation, besides the fact of downloading any tension or aggression, often symptomatic in these patients.
4) Be kind: In communication with the patient with dementia it is important to remember to always be affable and kind, bearing in mind that often his negative reactions are symptoms of the disease and not a deliberate response to your actions. Talk calmly and clearly and calmly, without claiming that there is given an immediate reply. Use short, simple sentences; eliminated the metaphors and difficult words, not forgetting an affectionate gestures that accompany your words.
5) Do not forget about yourself: Assist a senior with dementia can be complicated, both psychological, and physical terms, is the availability of time and energy. Do not forget, however, to also take care of yourself, moments that simply engage in pleasurable and recreational activities, possibly in the company. Do not feel guilty about it: you’re only charging the batteries to avoid stress and episodes of mental breakdown.
Besides all this, it is important to remember to always rely on experts and professionals, who can also provide a type of service home care. In addition to this, you can take advantage of all the Italian territory the support of specific care facilities, on an ongoing basis or, in the case of patients who still retain a good degree of autonomy in day mode.
Remember that you are invincible and assist a person with dementia alone, as well as exhausting, may be insufficient: these structures and the professionals who work there will be a great help to support your loved one suffering from dementia.