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Weeding Out the Myths About Dementia

Dementia is one of the most common diseases that seniors are diagnosed with. According to the World Health Organization, about 47.5 million people worldwide currently live with dementia and there are 7.7 million new cases diagnosed annually. With these numbers rising, it’s important that dementia caregivers in Sacramento, CA, learn to tell myth from fact.

If My Senior Loved One Has Dementia, He or She Has Alzheimer’s

This isn’t necessarily true. While Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common forms of dementia, there are many more varieties of the disease seniors could have. To find out what form of dementia your senior loved one has, you’ll need to talk with his or her doctor. There are tests that can show whether a person has Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia such as Parkinson’s disease, vascular, frontotemporal, and Lewy body dementia. The type of dementia your loved one has will determine whether he or she needs dementia, Parkinson’s, or Alzheimer’s home care in Sacramento.

I Need to Correct My Senior Loved One If He or She Says Things Mistakenly

While you may feel compelled to correct your senior loved one when he or she says things that you know not to be true, this is one of the worst things you can do for your senior loved one. Constant corrections can lead to your senior loved one developing more confusion, depression, anxiety and even aggression. Instead of correcting your senior loved one, engage with him or her on a level he or she understands. For example, if your senior loved one says he or she had breakfast with someone you know has passed away, don’t let your knowledge hinder you from asking your senior loved one details about breakfast. This is not encouraging a fantasy, but rather helping your senior loved one continue to make meaningful connections.

I Can’t Do Anything to Lower My Senior Loved One’s Risk of Dementia

Actually, you can do a number of things to help your senior loved one reduce the risk of dementia. Encourage your senior loved one to participate in a daily exercise routine focusing on elements they like. For instance, if a hard cardio workout isn’t possible, scenic walks in the park can be a rewarding alternative for your loved one. Encourage your loved one to eat a healthier diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables and low in fat. Lastly, many studies have shown a correlation between a sedentary brain and the development of dementia. Make sure your senior loved one is regularly exercising his or her brain by playing board games, doing puzzles, learning new skills, having animated conversations, reading, writing letters, and enjoying other activities that stimulate the mind.

People with Dementia Are Incompetent

While people in the later stages of dementia may not be able to function as they once did, it’s important to understand that most people living with dementia, especially in the earlier stages, are far from incompetent. In fact, many seniors with dementia are perfectly capable of making decisions in most aspects of their lives. This is the time to encourage your loved one to take on tasks like drafting a will or a living trust if he or she has not already done so. Encourage your senior loved one to make his or her own decisions, only stepping in when it’s really necessary, for as long as he or she is capable.

While there is no current cure for dementia or dementia-related illnesses, Home Care Assistance of Sacramento can help your loved one manage the disease in the comfort of home. Our comprehensive dementia senior home care in Sacramento helps clients exercise cognitive skills, engage socially and mentally with others, and boost confidence and self-esteem. Let us help your loved one today when you call 916.706.0169 to set up a free in-home consultation.