Dementia is a debilitating and heartbreaking condition that affects millions of people worldwide, including many living in Sydney.
It causes memory loss, confusion, difficulty with communication, and other cognitive issues that can be difficult to manage. While it has no known cure, understanding dementia is the first step to finding ways to cope with its symptoms.
Here are six facts about dementia you may not have heard before: from what kinds of treatments are available for those suffering from the condition, to how lifestyle choices can make a difference in managing its effects.
Facts About Dementia
With this knowledge in mind, hopefully, those affected with dementia will find comfort and support as they navigate their journey through this illness.
1. The changes in the brain
Dementia is known to be associated with a buildup of proteins, called amyloid plaques and tangles, which interfere with the proper functioning of the brain’s neural pathways.
It can also be affected by lifestyle choices such as smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, and head injuries.
People with dementia may experience changes in behavior, mood, and cognitive abilities—they can also have difficulty communicating, thinking clearly, and remembering recent events.
Additionally, people with dementia may also experience physical changes such as tremors, balance problems, and a decrease in muscle strength.
2. Treatment options available
Treatment for dementia depends on the type of dementia one has; however, there are a variety of medications and therapies that can help manage its symptoms.
Medications such as cholinesterase inhibitors can help improve memory and thinking, while psychological therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy can also help with communication.
However, inpatient care is also available for people living with dementia, providing them with a safe and secure environment as well as tailored care plans to help manage their condition.
According to medical professionals for dementia care in the Hills District, homely feeling in nursing homes and general health care in aged-care facilities create an environment to reduce symptoms of dementia. This also helps in providing a sense of belonging and connection with others.
3. Lifestyle changes
Making lifestyle changes can have a positive impact on managing dementia. Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, engaging in meaningful activities, and avoiding stress are all steps that can reduce the risk of developing dementia or its symptoms worsening.
Staying socially active by engaging in activities with friends and family can help preserve cognitive function.
People can also try to limit their intake of alcohol, as excessive drinking is linked to an increased risk of developing dementia.
4. Impact on caregivers
Caring for someone with dementia can be emotionally and physically draining, leaving the caregiver exhausted and feeling anxious or stressed.
Caregivers need to take care of themselves by getting support from friends and family members, or even joining support groups.
It is also important for caregivers to take regular breaks and schedule time for themselves to relax and recharge.
On the other hand, receiving care from a professional can also be beneficial for caregivers, allowing them to feel more supported and less overwhelmed.
5. Financial considerations
Dementia can have an impact on the finances of those affected as well as their families.
In Australia, the cost of providing care for someone with dementia can add up quickly; however, there are several government programs and subsidies available to those facing financial difficulty due to dementia.
People can also benefit from a range of services such as respite care and home support, allowing them to receive the necessary care while preserving their quality of life.
However, talking to financial advisors or pension specialists can help individuals with dementia and their families plan for the future.
6. Accessing support
People with dementia and their families must access the necessary support to help manage the condition.
There are a variety of services available from government-funded agencies, non-profits, and community groups to assist such as counseling, respite care, home modifications, and home care services.
Additionally, accessing support from peers and family members can provide emotional comfort and a sense of community.
For instance, Dementia Australia provides a range of services for those affected by dementia, including advice and support on living with the condition as well as how to access government assistance.
Dementia is an incredibly complex condition that affects many aspects of life.
It’s important to remember that while dementia can be difficult to manage, there are treatments available as well as ways to make life more comfortable for those affected.
Understanding the facts and accessing the right support can help individuals with dementia, as well as their loved ones, to better manage this condition.