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Dementia is a very real and scary risk that people face as they grow older. Some forms can be treated if caught early enough; therefore, it is imperative that one is able to recognize the warning signs. According to alz.org, dementia is “a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life.”


A helpguide.org article (“Understanding Dementia: Signs, Symptoms, Types, and Treatment,” December 2014) lists common signs and symptoms of dementia:

 

  • Memory loss
  • Impaired judgment and faulty reasoning
  • Difficulty with abstract thinking
  • Personality changes—inappropriate behavior, neglect of personal care, hallucinations, paranoia and agitation
  • Loss of communication skills, disorientation
  • Motor and balance problems

 

As you get older you might occasionally fumble for a word or name—and yet retain the power to talk about that forgetfulness in detail. In contrast, a person suffering from dementia might be unable to recall specific instances of forgetfulness and will generally only complain about the problem when asked. An inability to complete daily tasks, a tendency to misplace things and mood changes are all warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia.

 

Helpguide.org also provides tips for reducing your dementia risk (“Alzheimer’s and Dementia Prevention: How to Reduce Your Risk and Protect Your Brain as You Age,” December 2014). The following are the six pillars of keeping your brain healthy:

 

  • Exercise
  • Healthy diet
  • Mental stimulation
  • Quality sleep
  • Stress management
  • Social activity

 

It’s never too early or too late to adopt healthy habits to keep your brain functioning at its best.


Do you have a loved one suffering from dementia? Share with us.