November 5, 2020 by
You completely forgot about the doctor’s appointment scheduled for last Wednesday, misplaced your glasses for the umpteenth time, and can’t recall the name of your new neighbor for the life of you. Is all of this just a normal part of growing older, or could it be the start of Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia?
The fear of developing dementia is common; and growing, as more people learn about dementia, leading to concerns about our own potential loss of functionality and independence, in addition to memory challenges. It also raises questions about future living and care arrangements, if the time should come that support is needed to remain safe and to be able to tend to everyday needs.
Yet it’s important to know that there are a variety of reasons for forgetfulness that are completely unrelated to dementia, and some degree of memory impairment is simply part and parcel of aging. Recent statistics show that only 5% of seniors ages 71 – 79 actually have dementia, though that number increases to 37% for those aged 90 and over.
The first step is to speak with your primary care physician about any cognitive impairment you’re experiencing, so you can receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment. Before your appointment, take note of details such as:
- When the impairment began
- Whether it was a gradual or sudden decline
- If it is impacting daily life: eating, getting dressed, taking care of personal hygiene needs, etc.
The doctor will want to rule out conditions that can mimic dementia – such as depression and delirium – as well as determine if the problem might stem from medication side effects. Dementia progresses slowly, and in addition to memory deficits, can impact the ability to:
- Reason, judge, and problem-solve
- Focus and pay attention
For those diagnosed with dementia, or any other condition that affects the ability to manage daily life independently, At Home Independent Living, providers of top rated home care in Syracuse, NY and surrounding areas, is always here to provide as much or as little support as needed by well trained and experienced care professionals. Just some of the many ways we can enable older adults with dementia or any other challenges remain safe, comfortable, and independent at home include:
- Assistance with personal care needs, like showering and getting dressed
- Transportation to medical appointments and enjoyable outings
- Running errands
- Planning and preparing meals
- Household chores
- Engaging activities and socialization
- And much more