Dealing With Dementia In The Family
Dementia is quickly becoming a fact of life. Research even shows that this condition is becoming more common and it may be developing earlier in some populations. As such, it’s important to know how to deal with dementia when it hits your family. There’s a lot to think about and keep in mind here regarding your health.
Recognize The Signs
The first step is understanding some of the common signs of dementia. One of the clearest signs would be an increased level of forgetfulness. We all forget things in life. It’s common to walk into a room and forget when you went in there, particularly as you get older. But if memory issues are becoming more common this should be a cause for concern and it might be worth getting checked out. People often speak about dementia patients living in the past and this is true. A lot of individuals tend to remember their past more clearly while struggling to hold onto the present.
Can You Handle It?
There’s no shame in not being able to handle the fact that a loved one is showing signs of dementia. Particularly, if their case is quite severe. You could think about taking on the role of a carer yourself, but this is a massive commitment and it’s going to put a huge strain on your life. You will need to think carefully about whether this is the right answer or if you should be exploring long-term care instead. Resources such as https://catholiccarecenter.org/long-term-care/ can help you make this decision.
Can It Be Treated?
There is no current cure for dementia and it likely will progress over a period of several years. However, researchers do believe that there are medication and treatment options that can slow down the disease considerably. These are worth exploring, particularly if you have recognized the signs early on. You can also explore brain training activities that you can practice with your loved one. The brain is like a muscle. The more you stretch it and use it, the more likely it is to remain healthy.
Can You Avoid Developing Dementia?
There’s definitely a lot of research exploring the right lifestyle choices that might significantly reduce the chances of someone developing dementia. This includes changes to the diet and avoiding things like smoking. There is also some research that links the likelihood of dementia to other medical conditions. As such, if you are looking to avoid dementia, the best recommendation is to eat healthily and exercise regularly, keeping your mind active. You can learn more about lifestyle changes like this on https://www.health.harvard.edu/alzheimers-and-dementia/. However, it’s important to realize that there are no guarantees. You might find that this condition impacts your life sooner or later regardless of how healthy your lifestyle is so you need to be prepared.
We hope this helps you understand everything that you need to know when you are trying to cope with a dementia diagnosis in your family. Remember, it’s understandable to need to reach out for more support here. This is always going to be a difficult situation and one that you shouldn’t try and handle by yourself.