There has been more emphasis in the media lately relating to dementia and Alzheimer’s disorder. There are many reasons for this, as some celebrities are coming forward and stating that they or their loved ones have a diagnosis of these conditions, meaning more people want to learn about these disorders and how they may impact their lives or those that they know and love.
While the internet is a great place to learn about such things, it is also a hotbed of misinformation which can be confusing if you are looking to support somebody who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia.
This article aims to break down the common myths that surround dementia and the truths behind them.
Myth 1- Dementia Is A Disease
Actually, no, dementia in itself is not a disease, but it is a term for a set of symptoms. There are four discernible types of dementia, with the most well-known being Alzheimer’s, followed by Lewy bodies dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and vascular dementia. Even facilities such as Elk Grove assisted living may have their staff trained in managing one particular type of dementia, and the symptoms can vary greatly between these disorders.
Myth 2- Dementia Is A Normal Part Of Aging
No, dementia is not a normal part of aging. Cognitive decline is to be expected in those who are over the age of 65, but this does not instantly mean that somebody who is showing issues with their memory is going to develop dementia. Alzheimer’s, or any of the other aforementioned types of dementia, are not normal and need to be medically assessed and treated.
Myth 3- All Types of Dementia Are the Same
No, they aren’t. As mentioned earlier, there are 4 distinctive types of dementia. Some will present with symptoms such as memory issues, problems with cognition and thinking, or even problems with sleep. Vascular dementia typically occurs following a stroke and can cause issues with movement, communication, and even standing up. Your elderly relative may have other symptoms besides these, and it is important to have them assessed by medical staff.
Myth 4 – Dementia Is Diagnosed After The Symptoms Appear
If you have a familial history of dementia, there are tests that can be done to screen for some of the genes responsible. These tests are not 100% definitive but can give you something of a heads-up as to the most likely issues you may experience as you get older. This can help with advanced planning, such as where you will need to move to or the symptoms that you may begin to experience.
Myth 5- People With Dementia Need To Move To A Nursing Home
People that have a more advanced type of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia will usually need round-the-clock nursing care. It may surprise you to learn that most people that have dementia are able to live in either assisted living facilities or even independently. However, the majority of those who have mild symptoms may live with their family, who will help them in their daily routine.