Alzheimer’s is the most known type of Dementia, but there are many different conditions grouped under the same name. They all result in a loss of mental function, and impair thinking, memory, and reasoning in a manner severe enough to interfere with daily life.
Common symptoms can include changes in mood, personality, and overall behavior. This naturally puts a strain both on the person affected and his or her loved ones.
True dementia cannot be cured, but there are cases when a severe depression causes symptoms, and this is treatable. There are also cases where substance abuse, hormone or vitamin imbalances, or prescription medicines bring dementia, and this is generally treatable.
Situations that can cause dementia include:
- Diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s
- Stroke and other illnesses that affect blood vessels
- Excessive alcohol or drug use
- Vitamin deficiency, such as vitamin B12
- Infections that affect the brain and spinal cord
- Fluid in the brain, which can stem from an infection, injury, or brain tumor
- Head injury
- Kidney, liver, and lung diseases
Living with dementia poses a challenge. The problems often come gradually, and it becomes difficult to make decisions and remember things. Many suffer problems with finding their way, even in well-known areas.
Planning ahead can be a great help. Many who suffer dementia do better at a certain time of day. Try to figure out when that is, and plan to do things when you feel the best. If something gets difficult, take a break, and ask for help if you need it. No one is invincible, and it is okay to need help. Also allow yourself to take time, and don’t let other people rush you.
Here are five tips that can help deal with memory problems:
- Keep a notebook with you at all times. If you always carry it with you, it will become a habit easy to remember. On the first page, put your address and directions to your home. You might not need that right now, but in case anything happens and someone needs to help you, the information might be invaluable. In the future there might be a time when you don’t know, and the notebook will help keep you from getting lost. Also write down phone numbers, appointments, important information, and ideas you have.
- Make a list of important phone numbers and keep it by the phone.
- If you have problems remembering people’s names, a list with photos, names, and a short sentence stating who they are will make life easier.
- If you have important things you need to do, ask a friend or someone in your family to call and remind you. It is easy to forget meal times, taking medication, or a doctor’s appointment. Even if you remember, the reminder gives a pleasant phone call to look forward to!
- If you need to remember something important, place sticky notes around the house where you will see them. For instance, notes on the bathroom mirror, TV remote, and fridge can help remind you of an appointment.
First and foremost, remember there’s nothing wrong with asking for help if you need it!