While most people with dementia are over the age of 65, there is a relatively rare form of this disorder that may develop at a much younger age. Those who have early-onset dementia often begin to notice symptoms in their 40s, and this disease can drastically impact an individual’s quality of life. Even though some risk factors are unpreventable, adults can lower their chances of developing this disorder by altering some of their habits and boosting their overall health.
Neurologists still don’t fully understand what causes early-onset dementia, but they have been able to pinpoint a few genes that can lead to dementia-like symptoms. There is currently no way to alter these genes, which is why it is important for adults to be tested as soon as they notice any issues with their cognitive health. Those who have a family history of Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia should speak with a doctor about regular testing and screening. Various therapies and medications can minimize the symptoms of dementia when it is diagnosed early.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a home care provider Lakewood, Colorado, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
2. Brain Injuries
Almost any type of brain damage increases an adult’s risk of developing dementia at some point in life. There is no evidence that a single minor injury can result in dementia, but traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) seem to play a role in this disease. Weight training, jogging, dancing, and other physical activities can reduce the risk of a TBI. Adults living with balance or agility issues should always use the proper mobility devices.
Consider hiring a professional caregiver if your loved one has limited mobility. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Lakewood seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
3. Heavy Drinking
Regularly drinking too much alcohol almost always results in permanent brain damage. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, alcohol can also increase the risk of both age-related dementia and early-onset dementia. Most doctors and dietitians agree that adults should consume no more than two or three servings of alcohol per day. Those who have health issues like cardiovascular disease or diabetes might need to cut out drinking entirely or limit themselves to a few servings per week. For those who have been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, alcohol can worsen the symptoms and increase the progression of the disease.
Any cardiovascular event that limits blood flow can cause brain damage, including strokes. In some cases, even a minor stroke could destroy some of the vessels that carry blood to and from the brain. Once those vessels are damaged, the brain won’t be able to flush out the protein clusters that cause different types of dementia. Some of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of a stroke include lowering blood pressure, staying at a healthy weight, and exercising as often as possible.
Researchers still have quite a bit to learn about the connection between depression and dementia, but most agree these two conditions are closely linked. While depression won’t directly cause early-onset dementia, it can trigger or exacerbate certain symptoms. A study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that depressed adults are more than twice as likely to develop dementia. Anyone living with depression should speak with a therapist or psychologist about treatment options such as one-on-one counseling, support groups, art therapy, and stress reduction exercises.
A dementia diagnosis can be difficult for seniors and their families to face. If you need help caring for your aging loved one while he or she manages the challenges of dementia, turn to Home Care Assistance of Lakewood. Dementia care isn’t the only thing we specialize in. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are also trained to assist seniors during stroke recovery and help those living with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s maintain a higher quality of life. To learn about our premier in-home care plans, call one of our friendly Care Managers at (303) 987-5992 today.