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Phone: (281) 550-3665

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Recognizing Symptoms of Dementia in Elderly

Bobby and George Smith would frequently talk to each other every week or two to share notes about their mother. During one such conversation, George revealed that their mother was accusing the housekeeper of stealing her jewelry. However, Samantha, their sister called up a couple of days later to inform George that she had found the jewelry in a cigar box under their mother's bed. Both brothers were a little worried about their mother, as she had called up Bobby earlier in the day to inform him that the housekeeper had taken her car for a ride without asking for permission. On checking with their sister, who lived in the neighborhood, Bobby found out that the car had not been moved from the garage for over a month.

The Smiths were realizing that their mother was getting more forgetful and confused with each passing day. This could be plain and simple aging or was the problem deeper? Had the Smiths been able to recognize the symptoms of dementia in the elderly, they would have promptly taken their mother to a doctor. She was displaying classic signs of dementia.

Recognizing Symptoms of Dementia in Elderly

The following symptoms are usually seen, but it is not necessary that all the symptoms will be present simultaneously.

  • Memory Loss: While forgetfulness is a part of aging, people with dementia tend to forget things and just not remember them at all. If an aging parent is asking you the same question over and over, it is a cause for concern.
  • Problems in Performing Familiar Tasks: Elderly suffering from dementia tend to have issues with doing tasks that they are familiar with. For instance, they may forget to brush their hair, take a bath or eat food.
  • Misplacing Things: It is common for people with dementia to put things in the wrong places. You may end up finding the car keys stored in the refrigerator, or in George's mother case, jewelry under the bed. As a result the elderly will not be able to find things later on.
  • Language Problems: Elderly suffering from dementia tend to forget every day words and end up using incorrect words instead. This can make it difficult for others to understand and comprehend what the elderly person is trying to say.
  • Mood and Personality Changes: It is common for an elderly person suffering from dementia to exhibit radical changes in their personality. They tend to become more suspicious, irritable and/or frightened. In addition, mood swings are quite common which occur within minutes. One moment the person will be angry and the next shedding tears.
  • Time and Place Confusion: It is common for people with dementia to wander off and then not know how to return home. They tend to forget how they reached a particular place and will not know how to get back home.
  • Trouble with Abstract Thinking: Elderly with dementia have problems with numbers, as they tend to forget what numbers are.
  • Passivity: Elderly with dementia tend to become passive and shun social contact with people. They also become reclusive and will be afraid to venture out.

How to Handle Dementia in a Loved One?

If you notice the aforementioned symptoms, it is best to take the elderly person to see a doctor. Some of the causes of dementia are treatable, but the damage sustained by the brain cells cannot be reversed. There is treatment available to slow down the progress of the disease and this allows relatives to take care of their loved one at home.

Home Care

Caring for a person with dementia can be upsetting, as you have to watch your loved one's memories and skills slowly erode. However, home care of a dementia patient has it own rewards and challenges. While the caregiver may be overwhelmed with emotions watching the capabilities of the elderly lessen, home care allows the bond between the two to deepen and strengthen.

Home care is an alternative, especially during the early stages of dementia. However, as the disease progresses, it may require more careful planning with the help of a qualified doctor. There are resources available that allow home care for dementia patients, so that these patients can live with their loved ones as long as possible.

If you or a loved one are suffering from Dementia and would like a caring hand around for company and assistance, please contact C&S Healthcare at our Houston office 281-550-3665. We will be more than happy to answer any questions you might have about our services and how we can help.

C&S Healthcare provides competent caregivers, nursing, therapy and medical social services to clients in their homes, apartments or assisted living community. Keeping your loved one independent and safe is our goal at C&S Healthcare. To contact a C&S representative for more information call 281-550-3665. For easy access you may also complete the contact form on the Contact Us page and an RN Care Manager will respond to your inquiry.

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