My Mom couldn’t find her keys? Could it be dementia?
Dad forgot the way home? Could it be dementia?
There’s paperwork and bills piling up at my parent’s home? Could it be dementia?
Few things seem as scary as when an elderly family member starts to exhibit the early warning signs of dementia, causing you to wonder about their mental health and oftentimes, fear for the worst. It’s difficult because dementia symptoms vary and for some people the warning signs are very subtle.
Here are some common signs of dementia:
Problems with communication
Agitation and paranoia
Difficulty organizing and planning
Personality changes and inability to reason
Problems with coordination
These symptoms can also be a result of some other underlying medical conditions and it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible. The doctor will do a thorough medical examination and conduct a series of tests to eliminate some of the other possible causes of the symptoms. Brains scans, laboratory tests and neurological and psychiatric evaluations may all be required, and while these tests can be frightening and time consuming, they are necessary to get to the root cause of the symptoms.
If the diagnosis is dementia, the doctor will discuss the various treatment plans that are available. While there is no cure for most types of dementia, the symptoms can often be slowed or managed by the appropriate drug regimen. At this time it’s also important to become as educated as possible about the disease and to consider joining a support group as well as begin to line up the people and services that will help you and your family through this difficult time.
Most important, be patient with yourself and with your senior. Living with dementia will be a difficult adjustment but the most important thing is make sure that the senior maintains their dignity for as long as possible.
If you want more information or need further assistance don’t hesitate to contact us at (516) 528-0206.
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