Dementia refers to a loss of cognitive functioning that can severely impact a person’s daily life and routines. It often results in memory loss, confusion, and other distressing symptoms. Nearly one-third of all adults older than 85 have developed a form of dementia. Although it is common, dementia is not a normal part of the aging process.
Symptoms of Dementia
Dementia begins when healthy brain cells begin to degenerate. They lose their connections with other brain cells, causing people to experience the first signs and symptoms of dementia. Some of the most common early symptoms of dementia include:
- Memory loss
- Wandering or getting lost
- Balance issues
- Poor reasoning skills
- Difficulty communicating with others
- Repeating questions
- Taking longer to finish routine tasks
When an older adult first begins to experience these symptoms, it’s important that they see their physician. Dementia can be divided into different types, many of which have treatments that reduce symptoms effectively.
Why Dementia Occurs
While it is completely normal for older adults to lose some healthy brain cells, the accelerated rate of loss associated with dementia is not normal. Dementia has several different causes that affect various cells and regions of the brain.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common reason for a diagnosis of dementia in older adults. It accounts for 60-80% of all dementia cases. This disease causes a buildup of proteins in and around brain cells, which can result in a loss of function.
Vascular dementia is the result of damaged blood vessels, which can interfere with the delivery of blood and oxygen to the brain.
Frontotemporal dementia is a rare form of dementia that occurs in people younger than 60. It is thought to be a result of abnormal levels of certain proteins.
Lewy body dementia is the result of deposits of the protein alpha-synuclein. These deposits are called Lewy bodies.
Mixed dementia refers to dementia that has more than one cause.
Seeking treatment can help people with any type of dementia achieve a greater quality of life.
Florida Assisted Living Facilities Can Help
When a loved one is dealing with dementia, Florida assisted-living facilities and Florida independent nursing facilities can provide compassionate care and enriching services to help them cope with their symptoms. People with dementia often benefit from substantial support as they navigate their daily lives.