Owners' Blog

The Dementia Basics

By Greg and Hilary Eldridge

Caregivers Sugar Hill GA

Although more people are familiar with Alzheimer’s and its signs and symptoms, not as many people are aware of dementia and all its forms. Alzheimer’s is only one of several forms of dementia. It’s important to get help for your elderly loved one when you start seeing some of the signs.

What is dementia?

What happens with dementia is that there’s a loss in intellectual ability which is significant enough to decrease memory function and interfere with social abilities. It is not dementia when there is temporary forgetfulness or confusion as a result of illness, infection or medication. Dementia is a progressive disease which becomes worse over the course of time.

Dementia is diagnosed using a set of criteria which assesses the impairment of judgment, memory, language, function, motor skills, orientation, attention and spatial skills.

What are the causes?

While there has not been any one cause attributed to developing dementia, there are a number of factors implicated in causing it or increasing the risk of developing it. These factors include (among many others): thyroid disease, brain injury, brain tumors, drug toxicity, stroke, HIV, hydrocephalus etc.

A person with dementia has a difficult time trying to follow a conversation. Often they will laugh or make general affirmative motions to make it look like they understand so they avoid feeling humiliated.

The person with dementia will tell lies and fibs to mask their memory loss. This is important for the caregiver to know because if you ask a dementia patient if they’ve eaten they will lie and say yes when in reality they haven’t.

What are the consequences?

For the person with dementia, entire memories will fade away. In the early stages they will be aware of this and their unconscious mind will try to fill in the empty spaces with alternatives. They are prone to anxiety and depression in the early phase as they feel their world closing in on them and losing their freedom. They even lose a sense of themselves.

Fear and aggression are common as the person feels trapped and helpless. You aren’t really the target of their anger and frustration; their emotions are like a defense mechanism trying to deal with this confusing condition.

What can you do to help?

This disease not only affects the individual but also their entire family. Professional in-home care providers have specially trained and loving caregivers especially for caring for elderly loved ones with dementia. They have personal experience with dealing with the challenges and needs of the dementia sufferer. You won’t have to worry about your loved one living alone and not getting the help they need when there are qualified home care providers that can give them the supervision and assistance they require.

If you or an aging loved one are looking for caregivers in the home, contact the caring staff at Home Helpers of Buford, GA. Call today (678) 430-8511