Dementia Symptoms and Care
When confusion and memory loss become a big problem for yourself or a loved one, it is important to have a good primary care physician. This is especially true when you have a physician, like Dr. Randall, who focuses on how to handle aging issues.
You may be reluctant to seek help when you are afraid of a dementia diagnosis. Let us assure you that many illnesses can cause symptoms that mimic dementia. This is the first reason why it’s vital to have a primary care physician who can analyze your symptoms, your bloodwork and more. If the problem is dementia, our staff can help you deal with the diagnosis and its repercussions.
The second reason to seek answers is because dementia is just as debilitating as any physical illness. In fact, it is the leading cause of disability in older adults. After all, dementia patients cannot live alone. They need regular assistance with a variety of tasks. To slow down the rate of decline, there are meaningful treatments, including physical rehabilitation.
If you or a loved one is exhibiting signs of dementia, make a list of the symptoms. Make sure to provide the patient’s entire health history. Dr. Randall will make a diagnosis and help you and/or your family make plans about dealing with the disease. Let’s work together to slow down the effects of dementia.
Recognizing the Signs
These are the most common signs of dementia. Remember not to self diagnose. Sometimes these issues are related to other medical issues. Early indicators include:
- Agitation and Confusion
- Motor function decline
- Difficulty organizing
- Getting lost easily
- Losing track of time
- Memory loss
Long term indicators often include:
- Displaying paranoid behaviors
- Doesn‘t recognize people they know well
What Causes Dementia?
When a person is aging, the brain changes. If this change becomes rapid, there are corresponding changes in speech, comprehension and other cognitive functions. A loss of good judgement can lead to poor choices. Memory loss can contribute to wandering, losing track of time and displaying paranoid behaviors.
Damaged brain connections and damaged nerve cells are usually indicated by a dementia diagnosis. Although these conditions are not required to spark dementia, dementia is often associated with strokes, traumatic brain injuries, Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
High blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes have been shown to increase the risk. Other risk factors include smoking, drug use and heavy drinking.
Of course, dementia is a well-known symptom of Alzheimer’s. This makes it vital to get a good diagnosis.
To treat dementia, a good doctor looks at the problem from all angles. For instance, sleeplessness and moodiness can be addressed with certain medications. Other medications have been shown to slow the rate of decline and perhaps improve memory. Physical rehabilitation improves motor function, muscle memory, and balance. Since physical therapy restores capability, it can restore confidence and decrease depression.
With dementia patients, oversight is essential. First, dementia patients need help with regular medication and eating a healthy diet. At some point, they may need special living arrangements.
Our goal is to help every person live a fuller life. Let us help. Schedule your appointment online today or call during office hours.