January 3, 2014

Health Minute With CASI

How much do you know about Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease?

By Michelle Migliore, RN/Administrator Jane’s Place at CASI

Every 68 seconds in the United States, a person is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a terminal illness. There is no cure. There are several different forms of Dementia – Alzheimer’s
disease, Frontal Lobe Dementia, Vascular Dementia, Dementia with Lewy Bodies and a few others. The signs and symptoms of Dementia typically present themselves slowly over time, until eventually the
person affected or their spouse/family realizes that something is not right.

Dementia symptoms vary depending on the cause, but common signs and symptoms include: Memory loss, Difficulty communicating, Difficulty with complex tasks, Difficulty with planning and organizing, Difficulty with coordination and motor functions, Problems with disorientation, such as getting lost, Personality changes, Inability to reason, Inappropriate behavior, Paranoia, Agitation and Hallucinations. See a doctor if you or a loved one experiences memory problems or other dementia symptoms. Some treatable medical conditions (depression, UTI (urinary tract infection) can cause dementia symptoms, so it’s important that a doctor determine the underlying cause. Alzheimer’s disease and several other types of dementia worsen over time. Early diagnosis gives you time to plan for the future while you can participate in making decisions.

There are several support groups for caregivers of a loved one with Dementia in our area. Good resources for when and where these support groups are and other information regarding Dementia is the Alzheimer’s Association. They have a local chapter here in the Quad Cities.

If you are caring for a loved one at home with Dementia, and they are not safe to be home alone during the day, respite is a great option. Respite comes in the form of Adult Day Centers such as Jane’s Place at CASI in Davenport or In Touch Day Services in Moline. Adult Day Centers provide an atmosphere for your loved one to socialize and engage with others. Many Assisted Living communities in our area offer respite to caregivers. This could be useful if you are going on vacation and need a place where your loved one can be cared for, meals supplied to them and their medication administered to them in your absence.

Filed Under: Health & Wellness