If you’re providing care for an older loved one, it’s understandable to have concerns about dementia-related conditions like Alzheimer’s. However, some older adults may be hesitant to get evaluated to find out for sure if this may be what’s going on. Help your loved one realize the importance of being proactive about dementia by passing along the following details about the risks associated with not seeking treatment.
Failure to Discover Symptoms May Be Treatable
Not all forms of dementia are irreversible. But if the dementia-like symptoms go untreated, your loved one may assume he or she has Alzheimer’s or another type of progressive dementia without a known cure. Common causes of reversible dementia include:
• Side effects related to medications being taken for other reasons
• Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
• Treatable infections
• Brain growths or tumors small enough to safely treat or remove
Diminished Daily Quality of Life
Even with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia that can’t be cured yet, early treatment may slow the progression of symptoms. For instance, certain therapies can stimulate parts of the brain that handle various cognitive processes. Putting off proper screening and diagnosis means your loved one won’t benefit from a personalized treatment plan that includes such therapies, which could ultimately have a significant impact on his or her daily quality of life and functioning.
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.
Loss of Independence
Dementia doesn’t have to mean a loss of independence. But if dementia is untreated, your loved one may assume he or she has no choice but to accept what’s happening without being fully aware of the options. If dementia is diagnosed and treated, your loved one may be able to remain as independent as possible with care that involves:
• In-home assistance
• Remote monitoring tools if wandering becomes an issue
• Medication and various therapies to manage symptoms
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional homecare. McKinney families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
Depression & Social Isolation
Dementia is sometimes untreated because seniors purposely hide symptoms or avoid discussing concerns about what’s happening. This sometimes happens because of embarrassment or assumptions that memory issues always equal dementia, which isn’t true. If your loved one continues to avoid addressing concerns about cognitive decline, he or she may become depressed and increasingly anxious or avoid social interactions. What you can do is be as observant as possible and have an open, honest discussion with your loved one if you notice:
• Difficulty with communication
• Challenges with planning and organization
• Unexplained confusion and disorientation
• Personality changes and/or agitation
Faster Progression of Dementia
If your loved one does have dementia, the condition may progress faster without active care and treatment. With Alzheimer’s, the middle stage of the disease is typically the longest. Symptom management may extend this period before the later stages of the disease set in.
Not Getting Needed Help & Support
Dementia doesn’t have to be a solitary experience. However, if it’s not diagnosed and treated, your loved one may feel as if he or she has to handle what he or she is experiencing alone. Once a screening has been done, your loved one can get the emotional support and daily living assistance he or she needs.
Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. McKinney 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. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your parent, give us a call at (972) 548-0392 today.