Dementia is frustrating for seniors and caregivers alike. It makes daily activities more challenging and can slowly erode communication skills, relationships and even personalities. Dementia doesn’t mean that a person loses interest in connecting with others, doing simple hobbies or mastering new skills. It just makes these tasks a little more difficult. The good news is that staying mentally active may actually slow the progression of dementia. Activities such as listening to music can also improve quality of life and reduce emotional challenges such as anxiety and depression.
Caring for a loved one with dementia can be both frightening and heart-wrenching. A senior who initially struggled with mundane tasks like remembering keys may eventually forget family members’ names and need extensive help with daily tasks such as bathing and getting dressed. Rest assured, your loved one is still in there. They just need some help to identify and assert their needs, occupy their minds and cope with the stress of living with dementia. A memory care community offers dementia care for people who need extensive help.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, one in three seniors dies with some type of dementia. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, and is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. Both Alzheimer's and dementia remain somewhat mysterious. Doctors don’t fully understand what causes dementia, and people who don’t know someone with dementia may have little understanding of how dementia progresses. Some people mistakenly believe Alzheimer’s is the only type of dementia.
Image caption: Paola Barbarino, Chief Executive Officer of Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI)
We at The Arbor Company care deeply about memory care and the fight to end dementia. One of the leading voices in the fight against Alzheimer’s is Alzheimer’s Disease International. We asked them to join us on our blog to share some recent insights. Here is a message from ADI’s CEO, Paola Barbarino:
Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia, but it’s not the only type. Getting an accurate diagnosis can help you support your loved one, anticipate likely changes and ensure you choose the right level of care. The right diagnosis begins with a trip to a doctor you trust and usually requires a referral to a neurologist. Here’s how to understand the distinction between Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 1 in 3 seniors die with some form of dementia. The longer a person lives, the more vulnerable his or her brain becomes to dementia. So the frustrating reality is that a senior who lives a long and healthy life may ultimately need dementia care.
The progression of dementia impacts everyone differently. The progression of Alzheimer’s disease, for example, can span anywhere from several months to several decades. That’s why memory care decisions must be guided by the unique experiences and needs of you or your loved one.