Normal Aging vs. Dementia—What Is Normal? | Qualicare

Normal Aging vs. Dementia—What Is Normal? | Qualicare

According to the World Health Organization, more than 50 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with dementia. Approximately 60 to 70% of these diagnosed cases of dementia are Alzheimer's disease, which makes it the most common form of dementia.

Our team of in-home care providers at Qualicare wants to offer you some tips on how you can recognize the signs of dementia, as well as ways to prevent the condition.

What Is Dementia?

Dementia is a severe form of cognitive decline. Symptoms of dementia include:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Short-term memory changes
  • Changes in mood
  • Apathy
  • Trouble following sense of direction
  • Confusion

While some level of forgetfulness is common as we get older—and honestly, for people of younger ages, too—if you notice a pattern of memory issues along with other symptoms, it's important to seek medical attention.

How Is Dementia Diagnosed?

There is no single test that can be used to diagnose dementia at this point. In fact, it can only be definitively diagnosed in most cases after death.

But a combination of tests can be performed in order to form a diagnosis. If dementia is suspected, a doctor will order a medical history, a physical examination, laboratory tests and other day-to-day thinking/function skill tests in order to see if the signs and symptoms of dementia are present. 

Can Dementia Be Prevented?

While there is currently no cure for dementia, the good news is that researchers have identified a number of steps you can take to lower your risk of developing the condition. Many of these align with basic healthy lifestyle guidelines:

  • Stop smoking if you are a smoker.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise on a regular basis.
  • Follow a healthy diet.
  • Take control of health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
  • Complete crossword puzzles and other brain-stimulating activities.
  • Try new hobbies.
  • Read.
  • Stay involved socially.

Are you looking for someone to help care for your loved one in the comfort of home? Contact our in-home care providers at Qualicare to learn how we can help!

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