6 Typical Forms of Dementia

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Dementia is a broad term for any type of decreased mental ability that is pronounced enough to interfere with everyday living, and it may include loss of memory, visual perception, and/or language skills. There are more than 100 different types of dementia. Understanding the type of dementia your senior loved one has been diagnosed with can help you provide better care for him or her. Here are six of the most common types of dementia.

1. Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. An estimated 60 to 80 percent of all dementia diagnoses are Alzheimer’s, which progresses slowly over the years and first manifests with minor memory loss. Eventually, Alzheimer’s disease affects the entire brain and causes anger, inability to communicate properly, and, eventually, death. There’s no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but there are medications that can slow its progression. 

Over time, the effects of Alzheimer’s often leave seniors unable to manage everyday tasks, which poses risks to their health and safety. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care Waterloo, IA, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

2. Lewy Body Dementia

Lewy body dementia (LBD) is the second most common type of dementia. Clumps of protein in the brain, referred to as Lewy bodies, start to build up, affecting movement, memory, thinking skills, and behavior. There are two main types of LBD: dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease dementia. People with LBD may have difficulty with alertness and paying attention, and some experience hallucinations.

3. Frontotemporal Dementia

Frontotemporal dementia is a general term for six different types of dementia that are caused by damage or degeneration of the frontal and temporal brain lobes. Because these parts of the brain are responsible for language, personality, and behavior, damage to this part of the brain affects these areas. People with frontotemporal dementia may become depressed, lack tact in social situations, or seem apathetic and unwilling to talk. 

Issues such as depression, apathy, and self-isolation appear frequently in elderly people with dementia. Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Waterloo, IA, seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.

4. Vascular Dementia

Vascular dementia occurs when blood vessels that bring blood and oxygen to the brain become narrowed or partially blocked due to a clot. Though some people who have a stroke develop vascular dementia, not everyone does. A stroke occurs when the clot completely blocks the blood and oxygen from reaching the brain. Common symptoms of vascular dementia include difficulty with concentration, slowness of thought, personality changes, and memory loss.

5. Huntington’s Disease

Huntington’s disease is a genetic form of dementia that progresses over time, affecting cognition, movement, and behavior. Symptoms of Huntington’s disease include impaired judgment, mood swings, memory issues, and slurred speech. As the disease progresses, people with this type of dementia may experience hallucinations or delusions. Eventually, Huntington’s progresses to the point where the individual has difficulty controlling his or her body and experiences jerky muscle spasms.

6. Mixed Dementia

If your loved one has mixed dementia, he or she will have the brain abnormalities associated with Alzheimer’s along with another type of dementia. The other type of dementia is typically vascular dementia, but mixed dementia may also be composed of other types. The symptoms are similar to those of Alzheimer’s disease.

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be  a challenging task for anyone. If the responsibilities of caring for your loved one are making you feel overwhelmed, we’re here to help. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide at-home care. Waterloo, IA, families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today at 319-260-2222 to learn about our high-quality in-home services.