Why Aging Parents Suffering Dementia Are Best Served in Residential Care

Why Aging Parents Suffering Dementia

By Robert Bradford

One of the most heartbreaking moments in life can be when you realize your aging parents are suffering from some level of dementia. Sadly, you may think it’s a progressive condition from which there is no coming back, but sometimes that is not the case. There may be a glimmer of hope.

Dementia Is Actually the Symptom!

It helps to have a better understanding of dementia types and symptoms explained best by Belmont Village in this article. You actually could say that dementia is a symptom because, in its most basic definition, it simply refers to memory loss. With that said, what is the underlying cause of dementia? Is it age related? That is usually the case, but it may not always be.

For example, sufferers of Parkinson’s disease suffer varying degrees of dementia and although this is a disease that typically strikes the elderly, that is not always the case. Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with this disease at the young age of 29, so although it’s irreversible, it isn’t always a disease of the elderly. When seen as a symptom in the elderly population, sufferers exhibiting signs of memory loss would probably be best served by professionals in a residential facility.

Why Residential Care Is Best

It is crucial to understand what the underlying condition is and whether that diagnosis will necessitate other types of care besides memory care. There are actually some forms of dementia which are possibly reversible, while other forms, such as those suffered by Alzheimer’s patients, offer no hope of reversal. There are, however, treatment plans that can give the sufferer a better quality of life, but regrettably, with Alzheimer’s there is no ‘getting better.’

Unfortunately, you can’t automatically assume that it’s irreversible until you’ve had a proper diagnosis. Dementia types and symptoms present similarly enough that only an accurate diagnosis can tell you what you are dealing with in your elderly parents. That’s one of the most important reasons why your aging parents suffering from the symptoms of dementia are best served in residential care. Each underlying condition requires very specific treatment based on the diagnosis.

Three Main Categories of Dementia

When it comes to dementia, there are actually three main categories within which the various types of dementia are listed. They include:

  • Dementias linked to disorders
  • Progressive dementia
  • Possibly reversible symptoms of dementia

Sometimes memory loss can be linked to side effects from medication which could make it reversible when the medication is stopped. Then there are symptoms of dementia linked to disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases. Then there’s the irreversible memory loss and cognitive disfunction linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

Varying Levels of Care

When it comes to memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease, there will always be a need for care beyond memory care. Patients may lose many bodily functions and at some point may be unable to even turn themselves in bed. The level of care they need is extreme whereas sufferers of simple age-related dementia (there’s nothing simple about it!) may only need to be watched so that they don’t forget they’ve taken medicine and then take it again repeatedly leading to an overdose. While they can get to the restroom, they might get lost on the way!

Read more: 10 Things to Do to Lower Your Risk of Dementia

Based on the varying degrees of dementia and the underlying cause, elderly patients will need more or less care. This is something most families are ill-equipped to deal with which is why residential care is almost always in their best interests.

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Health Magazine: Why Aging Parents Suffering Dementia Are Best Served in Residential Care
Why Aging Parents Suffering Dementia Are Best Served in Residential Care
Most families are ill-equipped to deal with elderly dementia patients, which is why residential care is almost always in their best interests.
Health Magazine
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