Catching the Early Signs of Dementia

Being able to diagnose dementia and its many forms can prove to be a challenging, scary task. But, it’s important to catch it early to avoid potential hazards and establish a strong support system. That is why we created this guide to help you during this confusing time. 

As one of the leading post-acute facilities in southern California, South Coast Post Acute offers premiere memory care services. We work closely with our patients to ensure their minds and bodies are healthy. Read our article below to learn how you can identify if you are experiencing early signs of dementia. 

What Exactly is Dementia?

To begin this guide, we wanted to share what exactly dementia is. It’s a general term referring to a decline in cognitive function, resulting in impaired memory, language, thinking, problem-solving, and other functions affecting daily living.

Diseases that damage brain cells are the leading cause of this disorder. The damage interferes with the cells’ ability to communicate effectively. Additionally, behavior, thoughts, and feelings can be affected by the damage. When brain cells in a particular region are damaged, that section of the brain cannot carry out its usual functions. 

Common types of dementia include:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Vascular
  • Lewy Body
  • Frontotemporal

Who’s At Risk of Dementia?

Older adults and people who have a family history of dementia are at an increased risk of developing this disorder. Age is the main culprit for the disease, especially Alzheimer’s. One study suggests the risk of dementia increases with age and doubles every 10 years after the age of 60. 

Other factors that are said to influence the disease include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic or severe depression
  • Drinking in excess
  • Social isolation

How to Detect Early Signs of Dementia

People experiencing the disease rarely notice their memory loss or other problems associated with cognitive impairment. It’s primarily their family and friends who notice the signs. That is why having a strong support system of family, friends, and caregivers is important to notice any changes in your cognitive functioning. 

Typical warning signs that there is a problem include:

  • New difficulty speaking, writing, or recalling words
  • Losing interest in favorite activities and hobbies
  • Trouble keeping up with work
  • Behavioral or personality changes
  • Struggling to manage finances
  • Losing track of time 
  • Repeating questions, phrases, or behaviors
  • Withdrawal from family and friends

If you or a loved one are facing any of these issues, you must seek medical help. While there aren’t any tests that can diagnose dementia, doctors can run several tests to pinpoint the problem. Your doctor may evaluate your thinking ability through cognitive and neuropsychological tests to measure your memory, reasoning, judgment, language, and attention skills. Additionally, they may conduct a neurological evaluation to determine your problem-solving, movement, senses, balance, reflexes, and other areas.

They may also perform CT, MRI, or PET scans to find other possible abnormalities in your brain and highlight patterns of brain activity and brain damage. They may also perform a psychiatric evaluation to determine whether depression or another mental condition is contributing to the symptoms.

How Can Memory Care Facilities Help?

Memory care specialists provide dedicated care for adults experiencing issues in their cognitive functioning. Many families choose memory care for their elderly loved ones since their facilities are tailored to their specific needs. Key services and features differentiate depending on the provider, but all will ensure you’re taken care of. 

South Coast Post Acute Provides Exceptional Memory Care

South Coast Post Acute is one of southern California’s top-tier post-acute facilities with a specialty in memory care. Our memory care services are designed to engage patients who are experiencing trouble with their cognitive abilities. Additionally, we’re able to help patients recover from serious injuries that may have affected their brain function. To achieve this, we focus on three aspects of care: diet, customized medications, and effective care techniques. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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