What is Dementia?

By NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON AGING  May 7, 2006

Dementia describes a group of symptoms that are caused by changes in brain function. Dementia symptoms may include asking the same questions repeatedly; becoming lost in familiar places; being unable to follow directions; getting disoriented about time, people, and places; and neglecting personal safety, hygiene, and nutrition. People with dementia lose their abilities at different rates.

Dementia is caused by many conditions. Some conditions that cause dementia can be reversed, and others cannot. The two most common forms of dementia in older people are Alzheimer’s disease and multi-infarct dementia (sometimes called vascular dementia). These types of dementia are irreversible, which means they cannot be cured.

Reversible conditions with symptoms of dementia can be caused by a high fever, dehydration, vitamin deficiency and poor nutrition, bad reactions to medicines, problems with the thyroid gland, or a minor head injury. Medical conditions like these can be serious and should be treated by a doctor as soon as possible.

Sometimes older people have emotional problems that can be mistaken for dementia. Feeling sad, lonely, worried, or bored may be more common for older people facing retirement or coping with the death of a spouse, relative, or friend. Adapting to these changes leaves some people feeling confused or forgetful. Emotional problems can be eased by supportive friends and family, or by professional help from a doctor or counselor.

my dad has just been diagnosed with this.  it makes me mad.  it makes me sad.  i worry about my mama.  and of course my dad.  i want to know why. it scares me.  it makes me so sad to think that a man with such integrity and goodness would get something like this that disables him to think clearly and makes him see things that are not there.  after he has already dealt with the daily blows of parkinson's disease for twenty one years.  

to me though, my dad has always been my hero.  

superman.  

some things never change.

1 comment:

Cookie said...

I'm with you girl- I get so mad at the devil! but I love you and your family.

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