Dementia is a catchall term for memory, social, and thinking symptoms that disrupt the person’s daily function. Alzheimer’s Disease, for example, is one of the most common causes of dementia, but it is far from the only one. Having a loved one diagnosed with dementia can be a terrifying experience. Learning about the symptoms and stages of dementia, as well as dementia aftercare options, will help you better prepare for life with this disease.
Dementia can go through five stages, though these stages can vary depending on what part of the brain has been affected. The dementia stages include:
- No Impairment
No signs of dementia, but tests may alert the doctor to a potential problem.
- Questionable Impairment
Signs of slight memory loss is there, but nothing that makes a major impact on their daily life.
- Mild Impairment
This is the stage when disruptions to the sufferer’s daily life typically begins. Problems keeping up with personal care and difficulty with directions are two common signs that your loved one is in the dementia stage. At this stage, some patients can still live in their home, but may require the help of light housekeeping services.
- Moderate Impairment
The fourth dementia stage usually causes issues with their ability to maintain personal hygiene and their short-term memory is affected.
- Severe Impairment
At this stage of dementia your loved one doesn’t have the ability to care for themselves and will need the help of a dementia caregiver. Reach out to Advancare, the trusted caregivers in Miami-Dade Advancare, immediately if your loved one has severe impairment.
What to Expect
The first thing to expect with dementia is short-term memory loss. This loss will start off small and gradually become worse. As the disease worsens, forgetfulness will become more severe, and they may even forget their name, who their family members are, and where they live. While in the early dementia stages, your loved one will most like could care for themselves. Unfortunately, how long a dementia patient can maintain their independence varies greatly from one person to the next. For some, the disease progresses rapidly, while others live for years without needing help from a caregiver.
How to Diagnose Dementia in Miami
Diagnosing dementia doesn’t rely on one single test. Instead, doctors use the patients’ medical history, laboratory tests, behavior, physical examination, and changes to the person’s daily functions and characteristics. Another thing to remember is that while doctors can diagnose dementia with certainty, it is harder for them to determine what type of dementia the patient has. This is because most types of dementia have the same or similar brain changes and symptoms.
When to Call a Professional
Knowing when the right time to call a professional for a dementia patient will ensure they have the highest quality of life. If they require 24-hour supervision and care, are unable to speak or control their movements, or are battling an infection, then you should seek the help of dementia care professionals. Consult with their doctor if you’re still unsure if it is the right time to place your loved one in a Miami-Dade aftercare home.
If you need help caring for a loved one with dementia and don’t know where to turn, call Advancare, the trusted caregivers in Miami-Dade, today. Our staff is happy to discuss what aftercare options we have for people dealing with dementia and how we can help them, as well as their family.
What Causes & Prevents Dementia in Mimia
Although simply getting older is the biggest risk factor for dementia, there are certain things you can do to reduce your risk. Researchers are still investigating how dementia develops, but keeping active, staying healthy, and exercising your mind are all ways to help fight off the memory condition.
Here at Advancare, our team of compassionate caregivers have some tips on preventing dementia. If your senior loved ones have contracted dementia, our in-home caregiving services are a great care solution, as we understand the cognitive and physical challenges that go along with the disease.
What Causes Dementia?
Some dementia causes, or risk factors, are difficult or even impossible to change. These include:
- Age: The older you get, the higher your chance of developing dementia
- Genetics: While genes alone are not thought to cause dementia, certain genetic factors are involved with some of the less common types of the disease. Dementia develops because of a combination of behavioral and genetic factors.
- Lower levels of education
When answering the question, can you prevent dementia, our Miami caregivers will tell you that these are risk factors that can be controlled and reduced:
- High alcohol consumption: Drinking too much alcohol increases your risk of developing dementia. Reduce your alcohol intake to lower your risk of contracting dementia.
- Smoking: If you’re a smoker, you’re putting yourself at a higher risk of developing dementia. You also increase your risk of developing other conditions, including stroke, lung cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
- Unhealthy eating: A healthy and balanced diet can reduce your risk of dementia. Eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, and proteins, and be sure to drink six to eight glasses of healthy fluids per day.
- Physical inactivity: Sedentary seniors are more likely to develop dementia. Physical activity is good for your heart, circulation, weight, and mental well-being. Even 10 minutes of activity per day can help.
There are a growing number of dietary supplements, herbal remedies, and medical foods that are promoted as ways to prevent dementia. However, the Alzheimer’s Association cautions against the use of the following, because claims about their effectiveness are based on testimonials rather than rigorous scientific research.
- Coconut oil
- Coenzyme Q10
- Coral calcium
- Ginkgo biloba
How Diet and Lifestyle Can Impact Memory
Both diet and lifestyle can play a large role in memory and dementia. First, a diet that is high in saturated fat, salt and sugar, and low in fiber can increase your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. All of those conditions can go on to cause dementia and memory loss.
Additionally, lifestyle choices, such as physical activity and exercise, can also affect memory loss. A lack of regular exercise can increase your risk of contracting heart disease and becoming overweight, both of which are risk factors for dementia.
Get in Touch with Caregivers in Miami
The in-home senior care services provided by our compassionate caregivers can play a huge role in preventing dementia and memory. Contact us at 305-441-9794 to get started.
Six Benefits of Music Therapy for Miami Seniors
Music is more than something that can get your blood pumping at the club or a means to entertain you as you’re cruising down the highway. When used properly, music can also be a form of therapy that can benefit people of all ages, including senior citizens.
What is Music Therapy?
If you’ve never thought of music in a therapeutic sense, it may be difficult for you to think of it as a kind of therapy. Knowing what music therapy is can give you a clearer picture of its therapeutic applications, however. According to the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy is, “an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of individuals.”
How Music Therapy Can Help
When music therapy is part of senior care in Miami and other locations, it can provide some meaningful benefits to people who participate in it. Even people who aren’t particularly fond of music can benefit from this type of therapy!
Many people associate music with events from their past, which means music can bring memories from years ago to the front of a person’s mind. Even when a dementia patient can’t communicate anymore, music has been proven to be an effective treatment for evoking positive responses and increasing engagement.
As it progresses, music therapy can help older participants improve their speech and enhance their ability to respond to inquiries and make decisions. Music therapy can slow the deterioration of language skills in people who have dementia and it can help individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease to recognize and/or hum their favorite tunes even after they lose their speech abilities.
Music and dancing go hand in hand, which means music therapy can get senior participants up, moving around and socializing. Even if patients lack the mobility to dance, they can still tap to the beat of the music or clap their hands.
Music therapy involves plenty of chances for seniors to interact with their therapists and other patients. The socialization opportunities that are inherently available in music therapy sessions can help seniors ward off feelings of being isolated, lonely or depressed, which can improve their physical health and sense of mental well-being.
People suffering from dementia don’t always handle changes to their daily routines well. Music therapy can help patients adjust to changes in a calm, non-aggressive manner.
Music therapists can help terminal patients transition to the afterlife in a more relaxed state by playing songs that reduce their physical pain and emotional distress. They can also help a patient’s family members manage their grief with the help of music by making a legacy gift of a CD that includes their dying loved one’s favorite songs or by composing a song that celebrates the patient’s life.
Elderly Companion Care by Advancare
Music therapy is often part of the elderly companion care we provide for seniors living throughout Miami-Dade County. If therapy sessions are held outside of the home, our team can transport you or your loved one to the appropriate medical facility whenever a music therapy session is scheduled.
Call (305) 441-9794 the proven source for compassionate senior care in Miami, FL and surrounding areas.
Understanding the Difference – Alzheimer’s & Dementia
Alzheimer’s is a degenerative disease of the brain. It is the leading cause of dementia, which is a term for a group of symptoms including memory loss, impaired judgment, loss of language, and reduced motor skills. There is currently no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
There are many new advancements in the medical field every single day. Many of these advancements are extremely surprising to a lot of people. It can be quite exciting when someone finds a possible treatment that is not only effective, but also easy to obtain and relatively cheap. That is exactly what happened to Dr. Mary Newport and her husband, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Imagine yourself sitting in a chair on a fine morning. You find yourself staring off into space without much of a coherent train of thought. Then you suddenly find a canvas in front of you with a table of brushes and paint. Without thinking twice, you create colors from strokes. Before you know it, time has passed and you’ve created something but you still don’t remember what you’re doing here.
Memory loss may come from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. It is one of the most difficult types of disease for those who have it and those whose loved ones do. Anosognosia springs from dementia disorder which is characterized by unawareness of memory loss. It is probably a unique form of disorder yet it does exist to some patients and it can be one of the toughest cases to handle.
Part of taking care of a senior is dealing with illnesses that old age brings and one of these is dementia. Dementia is a mental illness that is often characterized by deteriorating memory, irritability, and mood swings just to name some. Though dementia is the least harmful, it is the most challenging sicknesses to deal with and often summons a lot of patience and understanding from the caregiver.
One of the toughest things to deal with as a caregiver in a nursing home is to give the proper care for the elderly suffering dementia. This cognitive disorder is something not to take lightly as it can make things complicated especially if one is not sensitive to the special needs of these elderly patients.