Is it or is it not Dementia? Is it normal or not normal aging?
Never assume its Dementia. If something is changing a person, the first question we need to ask is…Is it treatable or not treatable? You know something is changing, but don’t assume its Alzheimer’s. Dementia is a large umbrella that includes 85 to 90 different conditions which forms what is called Dementia. Alzheimer’s is one of the conditions and it is a larger portion of several different conditions of Dementia. Others include Mixed Picture, Lewy Body, Frontal Temporal, Vascular, Alcohol Related, Parkinson’s Related, and MS related. Dementia is not a diagnosis. It is syndrome or rather, a collection of symptoms.
Dementia means that two parts of your brain are fading. One could be memory and not all memory issues are the same. And it’s not, treatable. It cannot be fixed or cured. No one would ask for Dementia or any form of it. What we need to remember if one of our family members or if we work with someone who suffers with Dementia, is that their brain is changing and they are not always aware, but we are. Awareness is imperative and no one can handle this alone…not the person with it or the care givers. Reach out for help, have compassion, learn all you can so that you understand that their brain is changing and they are afraid. Yes, they can be cranky, belligerent, have delusions, and stare into space. They are not who you knew them to be. We have to come together and love them where they are and it takes nurturing, patience, and support for them and ourselves.