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Diagnosing and Managing Dementia: What Every Adult Should Know

Diagnosing and Managing Dementia: What Every Adult Should Know

Dementia is a disease that affects your cognitive abilities, such as thinking and remembering things. It ranges in severity from mild to so severe that you have to depend on others for everyday living. It’s a scary disease, but understanding how to manage it helps you and those you love learn to live with the disease.

At Complete Neurologic Care, our team of 12 specialists are experts in neurological conditions like dementia. The team helps you understand dementia and provides diagnostic care and treatment for this complicated condition. The specialists at Complete Neurologic care help you every step of the way, from initial diagnosis to complex treatment.

Common signs of dementia

There are actually many forms of dementia, each of which affects your cognitive abilities in different ways. This disease affects the way you think and reason with things in your everyday life. 

Dementia is typically brought on by damage to the nerve cells in different areas of your brain. Losing nerve cells or connection problems between these cells can also lead to dementia. 

Many different signs and symptoms can signal dementia. They’re typically split into psychological and cognitive changes. Some of the main signs that you may be dealing with dementia include:

Psychological changes

Cognitive shifts

Different forms of dementia exhibit contrasting signs and symptoms. If you or someone you love has any of the above signs, it’s important to get evaluated by the team to determine if dementia is the culprit.

How is dementia diagnosed?

If you’re worried that dementia is encroaching on your life, our team offers diagnostic testing to determine if it’s truly the cause of your symptoms. After a thorough history of your symptoms and physical exam, the team may also recommend the following tests:

Imaging studies of your brain are an important aspect of diagnosing dementia. CT scans, MRIs, and PET scans offer valuable information about the structure and activity in your brain.

Imaging studies are ordered to look for issues like tumors that can cause the symptoms of dementia. These tests also can identify significant changes in the structure and overall functioning in your brain. This helps the team determine if you’re suffering from the beginnings of dementia.

It’s also important to understand that dementia can be genetic. The team at Complete Neurologic care offers genetic testing and counseling to help you identify your risk of dementia early on, so you can seek help before the disease becomes advanced.

Tips to manage dementia

When you’re diagnosed with dementia, it’s certainly distressing and overwhelming. However, the team helps you understand the disease, so you can be more comfortable with your diagnosis and life. 

Medications are one of the ways dementia is controlled. Memantine and cholinesterase inhibitors are some of the medications typically prescribed for the symptoms of dementia. It’s important to understand both how they work and what, if any, side effects are possible before deciding on one.

There are other lifestyle modifications you can make to help you manage your dementia symptoms. Tips to deal with dementia in everyday life include:

Plan ahead

It’s essential to plan for the future when you have dementia. This includes preparing for your safety, daily living activities, and long-term care for your disease. Bringing in support from family and friends is also key.

Make a ritual at night

Dementia symptoms are often worse at night. It’s important to create a nighttime routine that’s calming and away from noise or other distractions. Limiting caffeine in the afternoon and leaving on night lights will help with restlessness and disorientation.

Work on communication

Communication is hard when you have dementia. Make sure to speak slowly, and use visual cues when speaking to someone who has dementia.

Plan activities

Activities that you know and love are vital to managing dementia. Planning activities like gardening or painting helps you stay focused on your life and things that connect you to family and friends.

Occupational therapy also helps you manage your dementia symptoms. This helps you improve the safety in your environment and help you cope with your changing life.

If you or someone you love is fighting dementia, don’t hesitate to call our Florida office to schedule a consultation with one of our expert doctors. You can also book an appointment using the scheduling tool on our website.

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