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Debunking 5 Dementia Myths

By Debbie Waddell, 5:06 pm on

Dementia is a confusing condition that affects speech, comprehension, and memory. The confusion stems from not only in the condition itself, but also in the way people perceive it. After a senior loved one receives a tough diagnosis, one of the best things a family member can do is educate themselves on the disease. Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home dementia care in Placer County, debunks five common dementia myths.

1. Dementia is Inevitable
It’s not uncommon for people to think that dementia is a natural part of aging. Seniors are at a higher risk, but dementia has been diagnosed in people as young as their 30’s. Certain things can increase a person’s chance of being diagnosed, like nervous system diseases or brain injury, but there are also things people can do to help protect themselves from getting dementia. For instance, eating right, exercising, and staying mentally active with puzzles, crosswords, educational classes, or art classes can help reduce a person’s risk tremendously.

2. Dementia Only Affects the Diagnosed Individual
The Mayo Clinic describes dementia as acutely interfering with daily activities. Due to symptoms like trouble reasoning and completing tasks, as well as issues with motor control, the family of a person with dementia is also acutely affected. Often, caring for a senior loved one with dementia is a partnership between the doctor, family members, and a dementia caregiver who can monitor typical day-to-day functions.

3. Dementia Can Be Cured
There is no cure for dementia, although it is treatable. Some forms of dementia can be treated relatively easily, for instance, if symptoms are due to tumors that can be removed, or nutritional deficiencies that can be corrected. Medication, supplements, exercise, and metal stimulation also help slow the progression of dementia.

4. Dementia Leads to Violence
Since individuals suffering from dementia can become easily confused and agitated, they are sometimes thought to be violent. Although some dementia patients can have aggressive outbursts, it’s far less common than most people think. Dementia caregivers and family members can help alleviate agitation by being patient, practicing good communication, and trying to understand the source of the agitation.

5. It is Important to Correct Someone with Dementia
Initially it may feel frustrating or even irritating to hear someone with dementia tell convincing tales of events that did not happen or provide incorrect details, but resist the urge to correct. Correcting someone with dementia can actually do more harm than good by furthering the confusion, causing feelings of depression, or leading to aggressive behaviors.

Knowing the facts is the first step to helping your senior loved one manage his or her symptoms and continue to live a fulfilling life. The second step is figuring out long-term care and finding a Placer County caregiver who can assist your loved one on an ongoing basis. Every caregiver with Home Care Assistance Placer County is compassionate, reliable, and trained in the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, which is designed to promote socialization, retain a sense of fulfillment, and slow cognitive decline. We are available 24/7, extensively screen all caregivers, and never require long-term contracts. For more information, call (916) 226-3737 to speak with a Care Manager today.

 

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