The most common cause of dementia in older adults is Alzheimer’s disease, which isn’t treatable and cannot be reversed. However, certain other conditions elicit symptoms of dementia that can resolve after the root cause has been treated. If you provide care for a senior loved one who has been experiencing memory problems but hasn’t been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, one of the following issues may be the cause.
Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH)
With this condition, a gradual buildup of spinal fluid in the brain leads to issues with cognition and, most noticeably, gait problems. If your loved one is experiencing these symptoms, see a neurologist, who can diagnose this condition with imaging tests. It’s usually treatable with a shunt.
This type of dementia is caused by a deficiency of the nutrient thiamine, typically associated with alcohol abuse, AIDS, eating disorders, kidney disease, or late-stage cancer. While research into Korsakoff syndrome is limited, experts think about a quarter of people with this type of dementia regain normal function, with another 50 percent showing some improvement.
Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Austin seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.
Seniors are often prescribed several drugs to treat a variety of conditions, sometimes by multiple physicians who may not be aware of other medications being taken. If this describes your loved one, make an appointment for a medical review with his or her physician. The dementia your loved one is experiencing may be reversed if it’s caused by a prescription or medication interactions.
Reversible Cognitive Dementia
This type of memory loss is actually a symptom of pervasive clinical depression. In some older adults, depression can manifest not only as sadness but also as confusion and forgetfulness. If you think this may apply to your loved one, his or her doctor can recommend a course of treatment. This typically includes both medication and psychotherapy.
Caring for a loved one with dementia can be challenging, but you don’t have to go through it alone. 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 leading provider of at-home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Older adults commonly exhibit confusion or other symptoms of cognitive impairment when they develop systemic infections. Since the immune system isn’t as efficient in the senior years, your parent may not have an elevated temperature. However, he or she may have a respiratory or urinary infection. A physical examination along with blood and urine tests may uncover the problem, which is treated with anti-infection medications.
Lack of Sleep
Sleep deprivation may leave seniors feeling foggy and confused in addition to being fatigued. Aging adults may also exhibit some degree of memory loss. If the problem becomes chronic, a lack of sleep has the potential to decrease the volume in certain areas of the brain. Seniors may need to make some environmental changes to induce restful sleep.
While many types of dementia are progressive, certain causes of memory loss are reversible with the right medical attention. It’s also possible to stave off cognitive decline by living a healthy lifestyle and engaging the brain in stimulating activities.
If your loved one is living with cognitive decline due to dementia or another condition, compassionate help is just a phone call away. Families looking for top-rated Austin senior 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. Call us at (512) 623-7800 today to talk to one of our compassionate Care Managers about our high-quality home care services.