What Are the Causes of Dementia?
Dementia is a common condition, affecting 5%-8% of adults over the age of 65 and around half of all people in their 80s. The condition is characterized by difficulties with memory, reasoning and other mental functions to a level that interferes with daily living. There are many different causes of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is perhaps the most well-known condition that causes dementia, but in some cases, dementia symptoms are caused by a reversible issue such as an infection or a nutrient deficiency.
Living with long-term dementia symptoms, such as those caused by vascular dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, can be difficult both for the person experiencing the symptoms and the loved ones caring for them. At Cedar Creek, we offer person-centered memory care in a homelike environment where residents are encouraged to engage in meaningful activities that promote physical and mental well-being.
Learn more about our compassionate dementia care at Cedar Creek Memory Care Homes. Contact us today!
Understanding Dementia: Causes and Symptoms
Dementia is caused by the loss of or damage to nerve cells in the brain. This damage could occur through infection, traumatic brain injury, strokes or certain conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. The symptoms of dementia vary depending on which part of the brain is affected and the severity of the damage.
Dementia isn’t a single condition. It can be divided into a few different categories. For example, there are progressive dementias, which get worse over time. These include:
- Alzheimer’s disease: Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia. People with this condition have plaques and tangles of proteins in their brains. These proteins damage healthy brain cells and the fibers that connect them, causing signs of dementia.
- Frontotemporal dementia: A breakdown of the nerve cells in the frontal and temporal lobes is known as frontotemporal dementia. This type of dementia can cause behavioral changes, loss of judgment and language difficulties.
- Lewy body dementia: This is another relatively common dementia diagnosis. Lewy bodies are balloon-like clumps of proteins that cause damage to healthy brain cells the same way those in Alzheimer’s disease do. Common symptoms of Lewy body dementia include visual hallucinations, difficulty with motor control and acting out dreams while sleeping.
- Vascular dementia: In some people, dementia is caused by damage to the blood vessels that supply oxygenated blood to the brain. This can cause strokes or damage the white matter in the brain. People with vascular dementia tend to experience slowed thinking and have difficulty focusing.
Risk Factors and Prevention
While older people are more likely to develop dementia, it’s not something that only occurs as a result of aging. Several factors can affect someone’s risk of dementia, including:
- Family history: Some types of dementia have a hereditary component. However, not everyone who has a family history of dementia goes on to develop the condition.
- Diet and exercise: Some nutritional deficiencies can cause dementia-like symptoms. Those who exercise regularly and follow a Mediterranean-style diet are at a lower risk of dementia.
- Cardiovascular health: Certain conditions, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, are thought to increase a person’s risk of dementia.
Leading an active and healthy lifestyle could help reduce dementia risk. At Cedar Creek, we closely monitor the progression of dementia in the people we work with and adjust their care needs as their dementia progresses.
Types and Diagnosis of Dementia
Those over the age of 80 often have dementia symptoms caused by a combination of the above issues. Researchers are still learning how having mixed dementia can affect the symptoms people experience and how their dementia develops over time, as well as how to treat such conditions.
At Cedar Creek Memory Care Homes, we work with people at all stages of the dementia diagnosis process. We can assist in recognizing early symptoms and assessing cognitive decline, tracking the disease progression and helping people with dementia find ways to improve their cognitive function and remain active and independent.
Cedar Creek’s Approach to Dementia Care
The Cedar Creek approach to dementia care provides a safe, welcoming community for those living with dementia. Our skilled caregivers understand the variety of neurological disorders that can cause memory loss and other dementia symptoms and create customized care plans to help those individuals manage their conditions.
Explore Cedar Creek’s specialized dementia care services. Reach out for more information!
Living With Dementia: Support and Care
Dementia symptoms, from simple memory loss to forgetting how to use once-familiar objects or even having visual hallucinations and speech difficulties, can affect all aspects of day-to-day life.
We offer individualized care plans for older adults with dementia that help them manage their symptoms and maintain a high quality of life.
The Importance of Early Intervention
Not everyone who develops dementia is over the age of 65. Early-onset dementia or a major neurocognitive disorder diagnosis can affect people of any age. Fortunately, early diagnosis of the condition offers the opportunity for proactive treatment that can slow the progression of the disease and even improve a person’s brain health.
Early intervention is key. Contact Cedar Creek at (301) 384-4017 for a comprehensive assessment.
Advanced Dementia Care: Addressing Complex Needs
The advanced stages of dementia can have serious symptoms. As the disease progresses, seniors may experience poor judgment and communication difficulties and require more help with personal care. Our caregivers are experienced in handling more complex dementia cases, including those with underlying diseases, and are committed to staying up to date with the latest research and innovative treatments to help people at all stages of the condition.
Conclusion: Cedar Creek’s Commitment to Dementia Care
At Cedar Creek, we take a holistic approach to dementia care. Not only do we ensure each resident’s basic needs and medical requirements are taken care of, we also offer engaging and life-enriching activities tailored to the interests and abilities of the individuals we care for. Through these activities, we help those living with dementia feel a sense of purpose and bond with others in the community, giving them a higher quality of life at what can be a confusing and difficult time.