At Avon Health Center, we provide long-term care to patients who suffer memory loss due to dementia and other conditions. Dementia is the umbrella term used for severe mental decline in older individuals. We understand how difficult it can be when your loved one is no longer able to communicate and share memories with you and your family.
When you’re faced with the heart wrenching decision to place your loved one in a nursing facility, it is important to understand exactly what the medical problem is. That way, you can feel more comfortable placing your family member in our skilled care because of our vast experience with these conditions.
What are the most common forms of dementia?
The most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s accounts for 60 to 80 percent of all cases. The disease affects your loved one’s memory, ability to think and hold a conversation. It is often most difficult for families to cope with changes in behavior and personality. Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s becomes progressively worse and there is no cure, but we strive to keep all patients comfortable during this time.
This type of dementia is the second most common, caused by decreased blood flow to the brain. As brain cells continue to die, your loved one’s confusion worsens. The low levels of oxygen in the brain prevent your family member from being the fully functional person you all love and remember.
Dementia with Lewy Bodies
This is the second most common progressive form of dementia. Lewy bodies are an accumulation of abnormal protein deposits that affect nerve cells in the brain stem. The interference of these deposits leads to impaired thinking, judgment and behavior. When your loved one suffers from DLB, symptoms are very similar to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
When a family member has a variety of mentally debilitating symptoms, it is likely the result of mixed dementia. Also called multifactorial, the most common mix is Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. Your loved one may experience an overall decreased level of functioning and mental capability as a result.
Parkinson’s Disease Dementia
It is important to note that not everyone who has Parkinson’s Disease develops dementia. However, when a loved one does, it is often the cause of Lewy bodies. In addition to the tremors, muscle stiffness and speech problems associated with Parkinson’s, dementia that develops later on will impact memory and reasoning skills.
Huntington’s is a genetic disease that causes nerve cells in the brain to continuously diminish. Your loved one may experience symptoms similar to Parkinson’s and dementia, including uncontrollable movements, memory loss and impaired judgment.
Other forms of dementia include:
- Frontotemporal Dementia
- Creutzfeldt-Jacob Dementia
- Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus
- Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome
- Mild Cognitive Impairment
To learn more, visit the Alzheimer’s Association website.
Caring for a loved one who struggles with a form of dementia is physically and mentally exhausting. Our facility takes pride in offering high-quality, long-term care for individuals who have been diagnosed with dementia so your family can feel at ease and enjoy the remaining time you have together.
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