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The Different Types of Dementia in Elderly Individuals

As people get older, they become more susceptible to developing dementia, which is a grouping of changes in the brain that cause immense amounts of memory loss. Due to the progression of losing memories, relationships between the diagnosed individual and family members or caregivers can face severe impacts.

There is a way to lessen the impacts, however – and that is through learning about the different types of dementia.

When family members and others providing care have educated themselves, it allows them to better support the diagnosed individual in all aspects of life. Continue reading for a closer look at the various types of dementia – some that you may have never even heard of.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Above all, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common kind (and cause) of dementia experienced by the elderly. By cause, this means that Alzheimer’s develops first and ultimately creates the changes in the brain that are known as dementia(s).

Defined by the death of brain cells, Alzheimer’s envelops a range of early signs, including:

  • Symptoms of depression
  • Mood swings and/or a generally depressed mood
  • Forgetting names, dates, and recent events or happenings
  • Trouble walking and speaking

Especially considering the decline in speech and navigation, home care alternatives may be a solution that family members did not know they needed. If you are a family member, knowing the signs of dementia will make it a simpler journey in finding a caregiver that can work alongside your loved one in the comfort of their own living space.

Vascular Dementia

Among the types of dementia, vascular dementia comes in as the second most common one. Vascular dementia sparks severe declines in an individual’s cognitive abilities, including speech, reasoning, awareness, and memory.

Other kinds of dementia have stages that make the changes easy to track and monitor as time moves forward. With vascular dementia, that is not the case – there is a wide range of symptoms, but no typical or linear progression. Common signs of vascular dementia include:

  • Trouble paying attention
  • Symptoms of depression
  • Frequently getting lost
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty doing tasks that were once easy
  • Misplacing items, regardless of their importance
  • Trouble controlling urination
  • Changes in displayed behaviors, mood, and/or personality
  • Problems with organization

Among these symptoms come plenty more, but it is important to know most of the common ones.

Mixed Dementia

When an individual has mixed dementia, this means they are experiencing a multitude of symptoms from a multitude of dementias. In simpler terms, for example, they could be experiencing signs of vascular dementia, normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH), and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease all at once.

Because every one person is different than the next, symptoms of mixed dementia are hard to determine. However, nearly 22 percent of elderly individuals specifically live with Mixed Vascular-Alzheimer’s Dementia (MVAD).

Know the Types of Dementia

While only three common types of dementia were discussed in depth here, there are many more out there. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, for example, is a kind of dementia and it is one of the rarest forms.

If you are a family member or someone providing care to an elderly individual with dementia, knowing the types is important. Each type has its own set of signs, which can be useful in determining a course of dementia treatment.

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