Dementia is an umbrella term that encompasses many different conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease. While there are many forms of dementia, it’s generally a chronic and progressive condition that becomes more noticeable over time. It’s sometimes possible to manage or even reverse symptoms under certain circumstances. However, there are also some things that could cause dementia to worsen, such as those discussed below.
Alzheimer’s and other progressive forms of dementia tend to naturally worsen with age. In general, dementia may become worse with age because of changes in the brain that can affect cognitive functions. There’s nothing that can be done to stop these changes, but you can let the doctor know if you see noticeable changes in your parent’s symptoms.
The disruption of blood flow to the brain that results in a stroke could worsen existing dementia. With aggressive post-stroke rehabilitation, it may be possible to reverse some of the damage caused by the stroke. However, the dementia that existed before the stroke will likely remain. One solution is to help your loved one be mindful of his or her diet and exercise habits to reduce the risk of having a stroke in the first place.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
3. Head Trauma
According to the CDC, roughly one out of every four older people in the United States falls each year. If your loved one falls and experiences head trauma, dementia symptoms may worsen. Mitigate this risk by ensuring loose rugs and other potential fall risks are removed from your loved one’s home.
The BrightFocus Foundation reports one in six people with dementia also lives with a major depressive disorder. If efforts aren’t made to address coexisting depression, dementia symptoms may worsen. One possible reason for this is the way depression can affect mental clarity and the ability to focus.
A compassionate professional caregiver with training and experience in dementia care can be a fantastic source of support for you and your loved one. Families looking for top-rated Philadelphia elder care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
5. Poor Diet
A steady diet of certain unhealthy foods can affect memory and compound existing issues with dementia. The good news is that adjusting your loved one’s diet may keep symptoms from worsening faster than what’s expected. The main dietary culprits that tend to negatively affect brain functions include:
• Sugary snacks and beverages
• White flour and other refined carbohydrates
• Highly processed foods
• Alcohol in excessive amounts
6. A Sedentary Lifestyle
Having dementia doesn’t mean no longer being active. In fact, not making an effort to remain active while living with dementia could worsen its symptoms. Part of the reason this may happen is because of the way even basic forms of exercise can boost circulation to all areas of the body, including the brain. Exercise also increases the production of hormones called endorphins that could minimize the mood issues often associated with dementia. People with dementia may enjoy cognitive and physical benefits from forms of exercise that include:
• Seated exercises
• Yoga, tai chi, and similar controlled-movement exercises
• Dancing, gardening, and other enjoyable activities
• Water-based forms of exercise
Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Philadelphia live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life. For reliable in-home care services, contact us at (215) 645-4663 today.