Have you ever noticed how many stories older people are able to tell? Honestly, some of the events in their lives that they are able to remember are fascinating. Some scientists believe that as people age, their brain is so full of memories, that they become unable to remember new ideas. This results in them not being able to remember as much and seemingly being forgetful. 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. These changes can affect memory, speech, reasoning, and the ability to perform the activities of daily living. Dementia is one of the leading causes of disability and dependency among older people worldwide.” In this article we’ll discuss the scientific stages of dementia.
Scientific Stages of Dementia
The natural part of aging is only heightened when an individual has 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).
Disease spreads to the medial temporal lobe. This part of the brain controls our memory of personal events and factual information. This stage still allows individuals to live on their own. They require help only for smaller tasks.
Disease spreads to lateral temporal and parietal lobes of the brain. The lateral temporal lobe controls our language comprehension, hearing, visual processing, and facial recognition. The parietal lobe helps to process sensory from various parts of the body.
This stage includes the most severe symptoms of dementia. The disease has now spread 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.
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
- Behavioral therapy
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Cognitive Stimulation
- Physical activity
- Animal therapy
- Music therapy
- Sensory 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. At Orchard at Brookhaven, we offer many opportunities that fall under several of the treatment categories. If you are interested in finding out more about all we have to offer, please contact us.