20 May 2014

How to Determine If Your Parents Have Dementia

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Dementia is one of the most difficult things you may have to face as your parents grow older. It can have a wide range of effects that compromise their mental and physical health.

You might often wonder if your parents will ultimately experience dementia. By understanding what it is, and its common signs, you can make the decision to consult with an expert health practitioners sooner than later.

Understanding Dementia

Dementia is not one condition. It consists of a variety of symptoms related to cognitive decline. Dementia can lead to issues with short- and long-term memory, and can limit your ability to function on a daily basis.

The most common form of cognitive impairment is Alzheimer’s disease. Individuals who suffer from a stroke can experience vascular dementia. Both have significant effects on the ability of person to function and require significant long-term care.

Although there is a common misunderstood belief that with age comes loss of cognitive abilities, dementia does affect large number of people. As your parents get older, you may begin to notice changes in their ability to remember or learn. This can lead you to wonder if dementia is in fact the culprit.

Common Signs

In order to determine if you should be concerned over the possibility of dementia affecting your parents, it’s important to recognize common signs that might indicate further testing.

Thy symptoms of dementia can differ within individuals. People experience difficulties with memory, communication, attention, judgment, and visual perception. If at least 2 of these areas show considerable dysfunction, dementia may be considered.

Issues with memory such as misplacing items or failing to remember appointments can be indicative of some level of cognitive loss. When your parents can no longer recognize common household objects, or show a significant lack of interest in learning, you might refer them to an expert for further evaluation.

What to Do?

Before you come to any firm decisions regarding your parents and dementia, remember that a single test can’t establish the presence of the condition. A number of different tests must be performed to gather more information and eliminate any other factors that may influence results.

When necessary, refer to a neurologist or geriatric psychiatrist. Both are qualified to test and identify any symptoms for the possibility of dementia.

If you’re concerned that your parents might be showing early signs of dementia, make sure that you have a clear understanding of its most common signs. Dementia can affect a variety of cognitive functions and have severe impacts on the life of your parents. Consulting with a qualified practitioner will help assess the symptoms and provide you some peace of mind in the process.

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