Over the last twenty years of working in the Senior Care Industry, I cannot count how many times I’ve heard people misuse or confuse terms when it comes to Dementia. So today, we’re going to break down the basics so you can have a clearer understanding and feel more confident when broaching this subject.
First, it’s crucial to understand that if Dementia is diagnosed, this means at least two parts of the brain are dying. But note that Dementia is not a specific disease in and of itself, nor is it a natural part of aging. Instead, think of this as an umbrella term for conditions such as Alzheimer’s, which is the most common form of Dementia.
Remember, the word ‘Dementia’ is describing a set of symptoms that may include difficulty with memory, thinking, perception, language, or problem-solving.
Dementia is a progressive disease, meaning it will become worse as the cells in the brain continue to die, causing the brain to shrink.
In my experience, I have seen families fall apart when caring for someone living with Dementia. There can be a lot of frustration, anger, and guilt thrown around, but try to remember it is the disease, not the person talking.
Unfortunately, the cause of Dementia is still undetermined. Age is the most significant risk factor, but again is not a part of normal aging. With over 50 million people living with Dementia worldwide, we are hoping for a cure soon.
To all of you caring for someone living with Dementia, my heart goes out to you. I encourage you to look into your support system and try to fill in gaps as much as you can. Find time for yourself, know you’re doing a fantastic job, and while someone living with Dementia might not always remember your name, they will remember how you made them feel.