Understanding Dementia Care Starts With Knowing the Disease

With over 50 causes of dementia, it's important for caregivers to understand the unique needs of each individual. Our guide helps prepare for future care needs and navigate the challenges of dementia care.

Understanding Dementia Care Starts With Knowing the Disease
Dementia Care Starts with Knowing the Disease

Understanding dementia care starts with knowing the type of dementia and the part of the brain that is affected.

Did you know that there a many different types of dementia?  Are you aware that there are over 50 different causes of dementia?

There is a growing crisis in this country. We are an aging nation that is living longer and not necessarily healthier. The goal of the aging seniors is to remain at home and live independently for as long as possible. For the first time in history, retiring seniors are providing care for aging parents as well as their own children. Called “the sandwich generation”, aging seniors are facing taking care of parents with dementia and other medical conditions.

Are you aware that a person diagnosed with dementia may live as long as 20 years after they receive the diagnosis?

When a individual receives the diagnosis, there are many things a person with dementia and their family caregiver should ask to help prepare of future care needs.  I have frequently heard many of my clients complain how frustrated with they are with the medical professionals lack of “hands on experience ” with the situations that many deal with at home. There are many that find the lack of family, community and support services frustrating.

In my FB seniors caregiver group, I frequently come across the family caregiver sharing their experiences. When I ask “What type of dementia or what part of the brain is  affected?”, the response is a generic diagnosis. They do not know what part of the brain has been affected by this horrible disease.

One of the most misdiagnosed and overlooked dementia’s is Lewy Body type of dementia.  This is the second most common type of dementia and very different, yet, similar from other dementias.  The medications that are used for other dementias have a very adverse response to a person with Lewy Body.

It became apparent to me that there is such a lack and awareness of dementia.  I decided to write a book to help understand dementia, in order to provide confident dementia care.

Get your copy of What is Dementia?: Understanding Dementia is the First Step to Confident Dementia Care

More on Types of Dementia and Planning for Future Care

Knowing the type of dementia can help plan for future care needs.  Dementia can be divided into types based on the regions of the brain that are affected. The types of dementia include: Alzheimer's disease, Lewy body dementia, Vascular dementia, Frontotemporal dementia, and Mixed Dementia.

Alzheimer's disease

AD is a progressive condition that affects memory and other cognitive skills. It is caused by abnormal deposits of proteins in the brain which leads to nerve cell damage over time. Symptoms include confusion, disorientation, language difficulties, personality changes and problems with reasoning.

Lewy body dementia

LBD is characterised by abnormal clumps of protein in brain cells that cause damage to neurons and impair their ability to communicate with each other. Symptoms may include visual hallucinations, impaired thinking abilities and problems with movement.

Vascular dementia

Vascular dementia is caused by damage to the blood vessels in the brain, resulting in reduced oxygen and nutrient supply to nerve cells. This can lead to reduced cognitive function such as poor memory, difficulty concentrating, or making decisions.

Frontotemporal dementia

FTD is a rare form of dementia that affects areas of the brain associated with behaviour and language. Symptoms may include changes in behaviour, impaired communication skills and difficulty understanding social cues.

Mixed Dementia

Is a combination of two types of dementia (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia). It tends to be more severe than either type taken alone, often progressing faster and causing greater cognitive impairment. Common symptoms include confusion, disorientation, loss of memory and difficulty with decision-making.

By understanding the types of dementia, individuals will be better equipped to plan for future care needs. This will enable them to seek out any supports or services that may help their loved one manage the condition. A healthcare professional should be consulted for further advice on planning ahead for a diagnosis of dementia.  With the right information and support, it is possible to live well with dementia and ensure that quality of life remains high.

It is important to remember that each individual's experience with dementia can vary significantly, depending on the type of dementia they have been diagnosed with. Therefore, it is essential to get an accurate diagnosis from a qualified medical professional so that you can plan for the best possible care.  Your healthcare team can provide additional information on types of dementia and advice on next steps for planning future care needs.

What type of dementia does your family member have? Do you kow what regions of the brain are affected? Please share here? Help others realize that they are not alone. Submit Your Caregiver Story