Sometimes people think that dementia refers to just one disease that causes memory loss and cognitive impairment.
However, that’s incorrect. In fact, dementia isn’t actually the name of any particular disease. Instead, it’s a blanket term used to describe a wide range of conditions that cause cognitive impairment. If you are a family caregiver with dementia, it can be particularly useful to know what kind of dementia they have since each has unique symptoms and treatments vary.
Below are 5 kinds of dementia family caregivers should know about.
#1: Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common kind of dementia, and also the one most people are familiar with. Somewhere between 60 and 80 percent of people diagnosed with a form of dementia have Alzheimer’s disease. It is a progressive disease, meaning that symptoms are mild at first and worsen over time, eventually causing the need for round-the-clock care. Alzheimer’s causes brain cells to die off. The disease most often happens in older adults, but about 5 percent of cases are early-onset, happening when the person is in their 40s or 50s.
#2: Dementia with Lewy Bodies
This kind of dementia is characterized by protein deposits that gather in nerve cells. These are called Lewy bodies. You may also hear the disease referred to as Lewy body dementia. It shares many of the cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease but also encompasses some of the physical symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
#3: Vascular Dementia
Vascular dementia is the second most common kind of dementia. It happens when the flow of blood to the brain is restricted. It can happen as the result of a stroke or by narrowing of the arteries. The symptoms of vascular dementia may come on quickly or happen slowly, depending on the cause of the disease.
#4: Parkinson’s Disease Dementia
Although Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the nervous system, up to 80 percent of those afflicted with the disease may also develop Parkinson’s dementia. Symptoms related to dementia usually start around 10 years after the physical symptoms of Parkinson’s begin.
#5: Huntington’s Disease
Huntington’s disease is a hereditary disease caused by a genetic defect. The gene for the disease is present at birth, but symptoms don’t start until between the ages of 30 and 50.
No matter what kind of dementia your aging relative has been diagnosed with, elderly care can assist with their needs. An elderly care provider can offer supervision to keep the older adult from harming themselves or getting lost. Elderly care providers can also help them to complete daily tasks, like dressing, eating, and using the bathroom. In addition, an elderly care provider can prepare meals and assist with light housecleaning tasks.
Are you or a loved one considering Homecare in Maumelle, AR? First Choice Senior Care can help. Serving all of Little Rock and Central Arkansas.
Please call and talk to our caring staff today. (501) 916-9307