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6 Types of Dementia Older Adults Develop

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Dementia is a general word used to refer to disorders that affect memory and other cognitive abilities. Cognitive disability gradually develops over time and eventually affects all aspects of daily living. Here are a few types of disorders that can cause dementia. 

1. Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s remains the most common disorder to cause dementia. Approximately 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases are diagnosed as Alzheimer’s. The disorder begins destroying brain cells long before symptoms develop. The disease process occurs when fragmented beta-amyloid proteins and tau proteins accumulate in the brain, clump together, and destroy neurons. Alzheimer’s has a long list of symptoms that begin with varying types of memory loss. However, in time, the disorder also affects behavior, speech, judgment, and physical ability. 

If your elderly loved one is living with Alzheimer’s and needs help managing the symptoms, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care. Birmingham seniors can rely on our revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program that promotes cognitive health and delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. CTM also encourages seniors to engage with others in an enjoyable way and helps them build new routines to look forward to.

2. Vascular Dementia

Vascular dementia is also commonly referred to as multi-infarct or post-stroke dementia, and it represents approximately 10 percent of dementia cases. This type of dementia develops when delicate blood vessels in the brain become blocked or damaged, which prevents neurons from receiving oxygen and nutrients. Initial symptoms include impaired judgment and disorganization. 

3. Lewy Body Dementia 

Lewy body dementia develops as a result of an accumulation and clumping of alpha-synuclein proteins in the brain. Although the disorder is often linked to people diagnosed with Parkinson’s, it can arise independently of the neurological disorder. Symptoms are similar to Alzheimer’s, as people experience memory loss and other cognitive impairments. However, early symptoms commonly include sleep pattern disturbances, visual hallucinations, and balance and gait disturbances. 

If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated home care company. Birmingham Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.

4. Frontotemporal Dementia 

This disorder is also known as FTD and may cover different types of dementia. Diagnoses may include behavioral variant FTD, corticobasal degeneration, Pick’s disease, primary progressive aphasia, or progressive supranuclear palsy. Symptoms may develop in adults as young as 45. The lifespan of affected seniors is also typically shorter than those with Alzheimer’s. FTD can be inherited and has been associated with certain gene mutations. In many cases, there are no distinguishable differences detected by image studies. Symptoms include behavior or personality changes and difficulty with language and speech. 

5. Korsakoff Syndrome

Korsakoff syndrome is commonly demonstrated in alcoholics secondary to a severe vitamin B1 deficiency. This vitamin is necessary for the neurons to convert glucose into energy. When levels fall too low, brain cells cannot produce enough energy to properly function. The deficiency can also cause bleeding in the lower regions of the brain. Symptoms include memory loss, double vision, and a loss of coordination. Seniors may also demonstrate an inability to learn or process information. 

6. Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus

This issue arises when fluid is not sufficiently emptied through the ventricles in the brain. Depending on the underlying cause, surgical insertion of a shunt may offer some relief. Symptoms include memory loss and the possibility of the disruption of other cognitive abilities. Hydrocephalus can also cause difficulties with balance and bladder control.

Many families have no experience in specialized home care for seniors, which can make life a bit more challenging when an elderly loved one is diagnosed with dementia. The Birmingham, AL, dementia care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. We designed a program called the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, which uses mentally engaging activities to slow the progression of dementia, and all of our live-in and respite caregivers are expertly trained in dementia care. Call us at (205) 438-6925 to create a customized home care plan for your senior loved one.