Dementia is still a disease that we don’t fully understand in terms of its causes and progression. However, there is a lot that we do understand about it thanks to ongoing research. Still, there are many myths and misunderstandings surrounding this condition that we’d like to clear up.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are the same condition
This is an easy mistake to make since the two terms are often used interchangeably and the conditions are very closely linked. In fact, they refer to different things. Rather than being a specific disease, dementia refers to certain symptoms that affect memory and reasoning. Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disease that can cause the symptoms of dementia, and so is classified as a type of dementia. Other conditions such as Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease can also cause dementia.
Younger adults are not at risk of dementia
Our risk of developing dementia does increase as we age, but this doesn’t mean we can’t get it at a younger age. Early onset dementia affects approximately 200,000 people in the US and is categorized as such in anyone under the age of 65. It may still be in the early stages, in which case patients can still largely care for themselves. But, in others, it can progress more rapidly even at a younger age.
There’s nothing you can do about dementia and its symptoms
While it’s true that there is currently no cure for dementia or a way to slow down its progression, there are still things you can do to manage the symptoms. So, it is worth seeing your doctor and memory care professionals to get advice on how to manage your dementia or that of a loved one. Responding in the correct way and doing the right things can really help to improve the quality of life of a dementia patient.
Dementia only affects the memory
The most common symptom associated with dementia is memory loss. Someone suffering from dementia may not be able to remember people’s names, simple words, or how to perform basic tasks. However, these are not the only symptoms to look out for if you’re worried about yourself or a loved one. Dementia also causes changes in personality, difficulties with reasoning and decision making, and an inability to focus or concentrate.
It’s important that we try to understand and raise awareness of dementia so that we can more easily diagnose it and support those around us who have it. If you need more information about dementia or memory care for a loved one, contact us to find out how we can support you.