What is Dementia? A Primer for the Family

Families with loved ones who have memory loss might not know how to cope with a diagnosis of memory loss or dementia. Learning more from health care professionals and organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association and the Parkinson’s Foundation can help clarify what to expect as the disease progresses. Thoughtful Healthcare is here to help. Here’s what it means to have dementia.

Dementia is: a diagnosis of a disease that affects the functioning of the mind, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Lewy Body or other forms of memory loss. It can mean the eventual, often uneven, decline of a person’s mental ability, I.Q. and function. It can also mean that a person eventually loses the ability to remember short term events, people places, and things. It can bring about fits of irritability or irrational behavior, bouts of depression and anxiety, or, in progressed cases, it can mean changes in personality. More than 3 million people are diagnosed with dementia every year.

What dementia is not: it is not a chosen form of behavior, a fluke, something that will cure itself, or a mental illness that has other roots like bi-polar disorder or schizophrenia.

People with dementia can: enjoy normal, everyday activities like being with family and friends, can exercise and do art, and some might be able to continue to work, drive and live independently until their disease progresses to the point where they cannot.

People with dementia can’t : be expected to remember everything,  be left alone for long periods of time, let their diagnosed disease run unchecked,  or expect to act like people who don’t have dementia.

Luckily the families of loved ones in Kansas City, Johnson County, Leawood, Mission Hills and North Kansas City, who have dementia can rely on the professional caregivers at Thoughtful Healthcare to provide excellent in-home memory care and support. Call us today to discover what we can do to support your family.