Dementia is a term that encompasses many types of memory loss. Some of these types are permanent, and some aren’t. An estimated 20 percent of all cases of dementia are reversible. Depending on the root cause of the condition, dementia can either be partially or completely reversed. If your senior loved one suddenly displays the symptoms of dementia, talk with his or her doctor to determine if it’s due to one of the eight causes listed below.
Most brain tumors grow slowly, causing gradual symptoms that can easily be attributed to dementia. As the tumor grows, your loved one may have difficulty with memory, speech, and motor skills.
2. Underactive Thyroid Gland
Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, slowly affects the body over time. In the beginning, you may notice your loved one gains weight or seems more fatigued. Eventually, the lack of hormones being excreted by the thyroid may cause more serious symptoms that can mimic dementia.
3. Subdural Hematoma
Subdural hematomas are clots of blood that form in the skull outside the brain and often occur as a result of traumatic brain injuries. A fall could cause your loved one to hit his or her head, causing the hematoma to form. When a hematoma presses on the brain, it affects its ability to function.
4. Alcohol or Drug Abuse
Alcoholism or drug abuse may go undetected by family members and friends. Seniors often live alone, which can allow excessive alcohol use to go unobserved. Drug abuse among the elderly is on the rise. Seniors are increasingly using opioids and medical marijuana to treat their pain. Alcohol and drugs can harm the brain over time and affect coordination and memory.
Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Sacramento seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.
5. Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Vitamin B12 is commonly found in milk, eggs, red meat, and fish. Without enough vitamin B12, red blood cells cannot form properly. The lack of red blood cells can cause Addison’s disease or pernicious anemia. Red blood cells are necessary for proper brain function.
Many seniors are on multiple medications to treat various conditions. Because different doctors may treat your loved one, it’s possible for a medication to be prescribed to him or her that interacts with another medication, which can affect the brain and cause reversible dementia. Always get prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy, and make sure every doctor has a complete list of medications your loved one is taking to ensure drug interactions don’t occur. If the dementia is occurring as a side effect of a medication, talk with the doctor about changing the prescription.
Caring for a loved one with dementia can be challenging, but compassionate help is available. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Hydrocephalus occurs when fluid builds up in the deep cavities in the brain. The extra fluid increases the size of the ventricles, which then puts pressure on the various parts of the brain. When areas affecting memory and speech are pushed on, the symptoms of dementia may manifest.
8. Lead Poisoning
Heavy metals, such as lead, can enter the bloodstream. With repeated exposure, lead can build up in the blood and cause poisoning. Lead poisoning may eventually damage the brain. Lead was a common building material in the 1970s, and almost all interior and exterior paint used before 1978 contained lead. Seniors who live in older homes should have them tested by professionals for lead exposure.
Highly trained caregivers with experience in caring for seniors with dementia can be a fantastic resource for family members. Families looking for top-rated Sacramento senior care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. If you need compassionate, professional dementia care for your loved one, call one of our friendly Care Managers today at 916.706.0169.