According to the World Health Organization, there are 10 million new cases of dementia every year. That’s about half of the state of Florida’s population.
With so many people getting diagnosed with dementia every year, you might be curious about the degenerative disease. After all, with those kinds of statistics, you could know someone afflicted with dementia and not even know it.
Want to know more about the illness that’s plaguing millions? Check out these little-known facts about dementia.
1. Dementia Can Affect Anybody
Dementia affects the elderly more than any other demographic, but that doesn’t mean it’s exclusive. In fact, dementia can affect anyone.
That’s because dementia is the result of several kinds of diseases, not just one. If a younger person has one of several diseases that cause dementia, such as diabetes, hypertension, or arteriosclerosis, they could be at risk for dementia.
2. But It Affects Women and the Less Wealthy More
It’s true that dementia doesn’t discriminate, but it does affect certain demographics more than others. Women are diagnosed with dementia more often than men because women tend to have longer lifespans.
Those living in lower income areas are also more likely to get dementia. And, the rate of dementia diagnosis in these countries is expected to increase in the next 30 years.
3. Alzheimer’s Disease Is One of Many Symptoms
Many think that Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are different. But in reality, they’re related.
Alzheimer’s disease is a symptom of dementia. In fact, it’s the most common form of dementia.
If you or a loved one are exhibiting signs of Alzheimer’s such as depression, disorientation, or impaired communication, contact your doctor and bring up dementia. You may be experiencing other signs of dementia aside from Alzheimer’s disease and not even know it.
4. And There Are a Whole Range of Other Symptoms of Dementia
It’s true that Alzheimer’s and dementia are related, but there are many other kinds of symptoms out there. Behavioral changes, strange food cravings, and impaired judgment on distance and speeds are just a few signs of dementia outside of the typical Alzheimer’s symptoms.
Keep in mind that dementia is not a disease, it’s the result of a culmination of other diseases. Check with your doctor to determine if any diseases you may have could result in dementia.
5. Dementia Is Not Inherent to the Aging Process
With more and more diagnoses of dementia every year, it may seem like dementia is part of the natural aging process. After all, most of the time only older people get diagnosed with dementia.
But in reality, dementia is not caused by aging. It’s caused by other diseases that affect the brain.
6. Dementia Has No Known Cure
Before dementia takes over the brain, there are several courses it progresses through, called stages. While each stage has its own effects on the brain, the commonality is that there is no cure for dementia, no matter what stage it’s in.
But don’t lose hope. Catching dementia in the early stages makes it easier to prolong the progression of the disease. And, early diagnosis can help make the disease more manageable in the long run.
7. But Several Causes of the Disease Are Treatable
Degenerative brain diseases are a result of many causes. And if you’re worried about preventing dementia, you’re in luck. Several causes of dementia are treatable. Here’s a helpful list of treatable causes of dementia:
- Brain Injury
- Hearing Loss
- Drug or Alcohol Abuse
- Poor Diet
One of the most important facts about dementia is that it’s avoidable. By placing a heavier emphasis on health with a proper diet, exercise, and taking nutritional supplements, you and your loved ones are well on the way to dementia prevention.
8. You Can Still Lead an Active Lifestyle with Dementia
Getting diagnosed with dementia is life-altering, but it doesn’t mean life has to stop. In fact, it’s possible to lead a fulfilling and active lifestyle even with dementia. How?
By finding a facility that puts memory care first. A good in-patient memory care facility allows your loved one to have independence in a safe and nurturing environment, so they can maintain their strong sense of self.
9. Not Sure If You’re Exhibiting Signs of Dementia? Your Friends and Family Can Help
Before you head to the doctor to see if you have dementia, ask those who know you best: your loved ones.
A friend, colleague, or spouse sees you more often than your doctor. They’re more able to tell you if your behavior is out-of-the-norm, which is one of many signals of dementia. And you can trust they’ll tell you the truth.
10. We Still Have a Lot to Learn About It
Our brains aren’t uncharted territory, but we still have a lot to learn about them. And that’s especially when it comes to learning about diseases of the brain such as dementia.
Investment in dementia research is low compared to research investment in other diseases. But by volunteering and donating to dementia-related efforts, you’re getting the world one step closer to finding the cure.
What You Can Do with These Facts About Dementia
Dementia is a disease we don’t know much about, but we can spot the signs and symptoms much quicker than ever before. Thanks to these little-known facts about dementia, you can now spread this information to your loved ones. You might just help them reach a diagnosis.
If you think you or your loved one has dementia, call a doctor to confirm. The next step is to ensure you’ll get the necessary proper care.
For more information on caring for those with dementia, contact us. We are here to help.