Dementia is a senior health condition scientists are still working hard to understand. Most people already know about common forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. However, you might not have thought about what happens if someone develops more than one form of dementia. It’s possible for seniors to develop mixed dementia, which occurs when more than one type affects their health. Knowing these four things can take some of the mystery out of the diagnosis while giving you actionable steps to take to preserve your aging loved one’s health.
1. It Occurs More Often in People Over the Age of 75
The risk of developing dementia tends to go up with age, and mixed dementia is even more likely to occur in people over 75. No one is sure why this hits older seniors more often, but it can be attributed to general aging along with other health problems, such as strokes. You can’t stop your loved one from getting older, but you can explore the possibility that he or she may have mixed dementia if he or she reaches this age and is showing new symptoms.
If your loved one is living with cognitive impairment resulting from dementia, help is just a phone call away. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Orlando Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
2. Many People Are Only Diagnosed with One Type of Dementia
Physicians still face challenges when it comes to making a dementia diagnosis. Even with testing, doctors sometimes have to go with their best guesses based on the data they receive from testing and self-reported symptoms. For example, brain imaging scans cannot always show signs of all types of dementia. Therefore, many seniors are simply diagnosed based on their primary form of dementia. It’s often easier for a doctor to just make an Alzheimer’s diagnosis instead of exploring other types of dementia that may be present, which is why you may sometimes find your loved one’s symptoms don’t necessarily match what you might expect with a diagnosis of one specific type of dementia.
3. Mixed Dementia Can Generate Different Symptoms
In most cases, people with mixed dementia display symptoms that align with the more severe type of dementia they have. For instance, someone with Alzheimer’s disease and Lewy body dementia may have more physical symptoms, such as being unable to control some body movements. There may also be rapid fluctuations among symptoms. Mixed dementia that includes the vascular type tends to involve more cognitive symptoms, such as slower processing of new information and difficulty with problem-solving and concentration.
Seniors with dementia often need help to be able to live at home safely. Families looking for top-rated in-home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
4. Good Cardiovascular Health Can Prevent Some Cases of Mixed Dementia
Vascular changes in the brain are often behind different types of dementia, and keeping the heart healthy impacts the ability to think clearly. Good cardiovascular health also helps your loved one avoid strokes and heart blockages that can lead to other forms of dementia. Help your loved one follow basic guidelines for good heart health. Exercising, eating right, and managing known health conditions can go a long way toward slowing the progression of dementia.
Even when families have the best intentions, caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging. Fortunately, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a leading provider of dementia care. Windermere families can take advantage of our flexible and customizable care plans, and our caregivers always stay up to date on the latest developments in senior care. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (407) 232-7155.