What is dementia? It is simply the loss of cognitive ability. It can be a result of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, brain trauma, a brain tumor or other medical issues. It manifests as a loss of ability to remember and function with the severity of the symptoms slowly increasing over time.
Dementia is a tough condition for a person to deal with. Realizing that you are losing your faculties is not a comfortable situation to say the least. That being said, the silver lining of dementia is that you lose the ability to recognize what is going on. It can be a little comforting to know that people with dementia do not suffer. There is no pain. The same unfortunately cannot be said for their family members.
Coping with a loved one’s moderate dementia is bound to be one of the most challenging endeavors you have ever taken on. This condition typically hurts the loved ones of the sufferer due to the fact that they have to witness the entire progression of the illness. Watching a loved one progress through the stages of dementia is extremely tough. It is heartbreaking when you realize that your mother or father or close family member no longer recognizes you. It is painful to have to watch and go through this.
The best way to cope, is to research what to expect and where and who to get support from. Get to know in advance the stages, the symptoms will be experienced, you will be better prepared for events to come. Learn about the symptoms that are beyond the sufferer’s control. The symptoms are a direct result of the impact that dementia has on the brain as a whole. Learn what you can so you can understand the disease.
Some of the following symptoms may be exhibited by your loved one:
- The sufferer may reach a point where they are unable to recognize their relatives, friends, and other individuals that they know.
- Many may develop what is referred to as Sundown syndrome. This is the name given to the confusion and often inappropriate emotional outbreaks that may occur at sunset or during the night hours. For many, this will occur in the early evenings as well.
- You may find that your loved one experiences many different challenges when it comes to keeping their thoughts organized, thinking on a rational and logical manner, and coming up with the right words to fully express themselves. As a result, they may simply create stories in order to fill in the areas that they are unable to appropriately recall.
When you have done the research about the disease, you’ll find that there are many support groups out there to help you cope and get through the stages of the disease. Groups will help to find a long term facility when more professional care is needed then you can give. Take the help and support offered by other family members – it is all about balancing your own needs with those of the dementia sufferer.
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