Today we will be focusing on mental decline in older adults. The mental signs of aging may include Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, and depression. All three of these afflictions are common in the elderly population.
More than five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. In the early stages of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, your loved one may have difficulty concentrating, processing information and remembering simple items or tasks. In many cases, they may be able to care for themselves for some time, but that independence will continue to fade as the months and years pass.
Dementia, like Alzheimer’s, is very prevalent in seniors and older adults. Worldwide, it is estimated that over 50 million people are dealing with dementia. Dementia is a group of conditions that can cause memory loss and judgement issues. There are many causes of dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease being the most common. Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and trauma to the brain are other frequent causes of dementia.
Despite the prevalence of these afflictions, however, they are by no means the only mental challenges facing seniors. Depression is an increasingly prevalent and often equally debilitating challenge. As we lose independence and are increasingly unable to enjoy many of the activities to which we’ve become accustomed over a lifetime, many seniors suffer from bouts of clinical depression. In these cases, the companionship that a part-time or live-in care provider offers can make an immeasurable difference in the life of your loved one.
If you decided to look in to in-home care due to a loved one’s mental decline, we would love to hear about your experience in the comments below.