Do you ever wonder how Grandpa remembers everyone’s birthday? I can barely keep up with what day of the week it is. Some research has shown that as people age, they begin to forget more recent people, places and things because their brain has actually run out of room! This is very characteristic of dementia. Dementia can be defined as “Dementia, a neurocognitive disorder, refers to a range of progressive mental and behavioral changes caused by cerebrovascular or neurological diseases that permanently damage the brain by impairing the activity of brain cells.” Basically, a change in our brain and how it works, thus how the rest of our body works.
Stages of Dementia
Aging becomes much more prominent in individuals who suffer from dementia. There are many stages of dementia with specific symptoms noticed at each stage. Also, at each stage, there are very specific changes happening in the brain. Here is a progression of what happens to the brain at each stage of Alzheimer’s (one type of dementia).
Mild – The disease spreads to the part of the brain that controls our memory of personal events and factual information. This stage still allows individuals to live on their own, however they may require help with more simple tasks.
Moderate – Disease spreads to the part of the brain that controls our language comprehension, hearing, visual processing, and facial recognition.
Severe – The disease spreads to the part of the brain that controls movement, so most patients become bed-ridden. It can also affect one’s ability to eat, thus making swallowing difficult.
How To Treat Dementia
Keeping in mind that there are no cures for dementia, there are several ways to treat the disease that makes life easier and more enjoyable for those who are diagnosed. Below are listed a few ways you can treat someone who has dementia.
- Medicine that helps with cognitive ability
- Medicine that lessens the symptoms of dementia
- Occupational therapy
- Cognitive Stimulation
- Behavioral therapy
- Sensory therapy
- Physical therapy
- Physical activity
- Animal therapy
- Music therapy
As a caregiver, it will be up to you and your loved one as to which treatment you decide on. This can vary case by case. It is important to choose treatment that is realistic and attainable for you and the person who may be in your care. Orchard at Athens is a senior living community in Athens GA that offers many opportunities that fall under several of the treatment categories listed above. If you are interested in finding out more about how our community can help, please contact us.