Signs of Dementia
Dementia is a medical condition in which a person’s thinking, behavior, and social skills decline. It commonly manifests as a combination of symptoms, such as forgetfulness and a decline in mental abilities, as well as problems with visual perception and the ability to stay focused. The condition also makes it hard to think logically, make good decisions, solve complicated situations, and control emotions.
This decline is typically severe enough to restrict the individual’s capacity to engage in the fundamental tasks necessary for their daily functioning, commonly referred to as activities of daily living (ADLs).
People over the age of 65 are most likely to develop dementia. Most people with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia are 85 years old or older. But sometimes dementia appears in people in their 30s, 40s, or 50s.
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How to Recognize Dementia?
Dementia generally progresses slowly at first, so the first signs may not be noticed for a long time. Another problem is that many people mistakenly think that early signs of dementia are a natural part of aging.
However, dementia is not a typical part of getting older. So, if you or a loved one shows any of the early signs of dementia described below, you should consult a health practitioner.
Cognitive and Language Symptoms
- Memory lapses (a person typically has problems forgetting details about recent events)
- Impaired decision-making and problem-solving skills
- Misplacing things
- Difficulties with attention and focus
- A decline in visual perception
- Confusion about place and time
- Losing identity consciousness (a person is insecure about who they are)
- Difficulties with speaking or writing
- A complete loss of ability to communicate
- Hallucinations and delusions
Emotional and Behavioral Symptoms
- Aggressive behavior
- Withdrawal from social contacts
- Personality changes
- A decline in social skills
- A loss of physical abilities
- Difficulty swallowing
As the symptoms worsen, the person with dementia needs increased assistance to do activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing, eating, and grooming. At a moderate stage of dementia, they may entirely rely on a caretaker to satisfy their basic requirements.
What Causes Dementia?
Several factors influence whether or not someone develops dementia. According to research, a person’s age, genetics, specific health problems, and lifestyle may all increase the risk of getting dementia.
On the other hand, while there is no proven method to prevent dementia, life habits such as a good diet, exercise, regular cognitive training, and being socially active can all help delay the disease’s onset or slow its progression.
Managing Anger in Dementia
Shouting, yelling, verbal attacks, hostility, and physical aggression are not rare in people with dementia. Managing rage in a person with dementia may be challenging, whether you are a caregiver or a family member. To adequately address rage issues, you must first understand what causes them.
Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia can exacerbate existing anger issues or cause new ones in people who previously did not have them. Anger in people with dementia can be caused by different physical factors (pain or discomfort), emotional triggers (loneliness, sadness, or monotony), and cognitive challenges (confusion or mixed-up memories).
Once you understand what triggers anger and aggression in a person with dementia, avoiding those triggers and preventing aggressive behavior will be easier. However, never try to take physical control of the person with dementia or use force. If possible, avoid the situations that trigger anger and aggression. Always use a calm tone and avoid reasoning with or arguing with the person. Be reassuring and supportive, and instead show understanding and love.
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