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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Signs of Dementia, symptoms and treatments

* Signs of Dementia
* What's The Difference Between Alzheimer's and Dementia?
* Treatment For Dementia In Care Facilities or Nursing Homes
* Choices in Dementia Care
* Without Zinc You Are Headed Towards Dementia or Alzheimer's

Signs of Dementia

If you notice someone close to you that is acting on the
offensive all the time, is irritated or disoriented then you
should have them go to a doctor. These are some key signs of

The condition affects a part of your brain, mainly your memory.
For the most part a person with the condition doesn’t even
notice what is happening to them.

If you notice someone with signs of dementia, you should try
and get them to see a medical professional who can do tests and
accurately diagnose the patient. Even if they are reluctant, try
your best to convince them and get them to see a doctor. It
would be better to be on the safe side than sorry.

If someone has dementia they will have a hard time with
remembering tasks, names, places, dates and details. And
usually these signs are ignored and just thought to be signs of
getting older. But it can be the first signs of dementia. You
should be aware of their ability to remember especially when
they just forget something in an instant.

Dementia affects short term memory, allowing them to remember
things that happened in the past, but forget things that just
happened. Look out for those moments, when they just forget
something in an instant.

The next step would be to see changes in the individual’s
behavior. They might be getting angry and frustrated easily
with the simplest tings. And the individual might experience
poor judgment, because of their memory loss. For example they
can leave a child without supervision, because they forgot
about them.

Also, it shouldn’t only be you who keeps an eye on the
individual; it helps if everyone in the family can be aware of
the symptoms and be on the look out. You should do all you can
to help your loved one. Don’t just sit back and watch.

What's The Difference Between Alzheimer's and Dementia?

"What's the difference between dementia and Alzheimer's?" It's a common question, and doctors are some of the best at confusing us. Physicians seem to prefer the word "dementia," possibly because Alzheimer's has become such a loaded word. "Dementia" somehow sounds less frightening to many people, and now even the experts have started using the words interchangeably.

They aren't interchangeable. Alzheimer's Disease and dementia are two very different things.

Dementia is a symptom. Pain is a symptom, and many different injuries and illnesses can cause pain. When you go to the doctor because you hurt, you won't be satisfied if the doctor diagnoses "pain" and sends you home. You want to know what is causing the pain, and how to treat it.

"Dementia" simply means the symptom of a deterioration of intellectual abilities resulting from an unspecified disease or disorder of the brain.

Alzheimer's Disease is one disease/disorder that causes dementia. Many other illnesses or "syndromes" can also cause dementia. Parkinson's Disease can cause dementia. A stroke can cause dementia. Even dehydration can cause dementia.

Many of the things that can cause dementia are treatable, even potentially curable.

If you have taken your elder to the doctor and received a diagnosis of "dementia" you haven't received a diagnosis at all. Unless you know what is causing the dementia you can't begin to treat it's root cause.

If your physician has diagnosed "dementia" it's time for a second opinion. You are probably dealing either with a physician who is not comfortable with the truth, or one who doesn't know how (or doesn't want to bother) to differentiate between all the possible causes of dementia. Either way, a skilled geriatrician or a neurologist who is comfortable with seniors would be a good place to start.

Treatment For Dementia In Care Facilities or Nursing Homes

The loss of mental capacity and abilities is commonly known as dementia, and regularly affects anywhere between five to eight percent of men and women over the age of 65 and between an astounding 25 and 50 percent of men and women over the age of 80.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with this mental disease, know that many patients have had success with several options for treatment for dementia .

Although there are different forms and severities of dementia, the most commonly known one is Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's is usually brought on by mini-strokes or other problems that can dramatically constrict the blood vessels in the brain, thus preventing necessary oxygen from accessing the brain.

Once dementia has been recognized and diagnosed, ensure the patient is immediately started on a plan for treatment for dementia .

The most common treatment for dementia is to provide proper care for the individual in question.

Depending on the level of dementia, the patient may need more care than a spouse, child, or loved one can provide.

In many cases, adults with advanced stages of dementia or Alzheimer's can potentially become dangerous to themselves if they are left to their own devices.

Quite often, adults with advances stages of dementia are harmed when they exit their homes to shop or exercise and are exposed to the elements when they cannot find their way home again.

This happens far too often and, although the family or loved ones are not to blame for these accidents, the immense task of caring for a patient with dementia is often too much for a person to handle.

If you are facing a situation with a loved one, consider looking into a nearby care facility or nursing home.

There are different levels of care available for patients with dementia based on the advancement of the specific case of dementia.

These facilities will ensure the patient receives the proper nutrients on a daily basis, a proper amount of exercise , and the treatments that will prevent his or her dementia from advancing.

Furthermore, these facilities will be able to introduce the dementia patients to other individuals with similar interests.

Choices in Dementia Care

"My mother doesn't remember to turn off the stove." "My husband takes a walk and doesn't always seem to know his way home." "My wife sometimes stops in mid-sentence and can't complete her thought." "My father sometimes forgets who my kids are."

These and many other concerns, indicate the possibility of dementia. Dementia is a slow or progressing decline in mental abilities, such as concentration, staying on task, and memory. Once someone has been diagnosed with dementia, it means that other medical possibilities which may account for the declining abilities have been examined and ruled out. The task is now to figure out how to make choices in dementia care that will provide safety and basic needs in the least restrictive manner, and the least costly way.

One method of caring for a person with dementia is at home. Many American spouses currently care for their husband or wife at home, which can be physically and mentally stressful for the caregiver spouse. Sometimes the adult children help their parents cope with the extra responsibilities. Most people don't like to go out of their homes when they are experiencing some confusion or forgetfulness. They like the routine and familiarity with their home and will become angry and resistant of out-of-home care.

There are many cases in which additional help is brought in. For example, there are many home health and companion agencies which provide paid helpers to take care of the family member with dementia, and also of the spouse. Also, there are products which can be purchased to make the house a safer environment.

Other times, the aging parent or parents move in with their adult children. Relocating, however, can cause stress and irritability, and can even result in reduced mental or cognitive functioning, as the safety and familiarity of the home, and the sense of belonging and ownership is lost.

Adult day care centers are springing up around the nation as an alternative to home based care. These centers provide structured activity and supervision, along with socialization and stimulation, while the spouse and caretakers have relief or go to work. Many participants of such programs get used to the new routine and enjoy the socialization and stimulation, while at the same time continue to return home in the evening.

Assisted living facilities are also a fast growing industry, as nursing homes become cost prohibitive and focus on the most intensively medically needy members of the population. Many assisted living facilities offer quiet and modern appearances, private rooms, all or most meals, and security for dementia care.

As the residents of these facilities age, the assisted living facilities offer increased levels of care to provide an opportunity for "aging in place" and avoid the need to move to a nursing facility. Trips are often provided when a person is able to benefit from and safely attend a trip out of the facility. Group activities are often offered on site as well.

Nursing facilities, or nursing homes, are the most costly and most restrictive outside of hospitals. They provide more intensive medical care, and have historically provided choices in dementia care, including locked units and fenced in yards. Many facilities offered skilled care, and are called skilled nursing facilities or skilled nursing homes. The skilled level of care includes intensive nursing care, physical therapy and other therapies and rehabilitation. Medicare covers some of this care, which takes place after a brief hospitalization, with the hope of recovery and movement to a less restrictive environment.

Unskilled or custodial care in a nursing home is designed for those whose abilities to care for themselves or to receive care at home or in another setting is declining. Examples of these types of nursing home placements include choices in dementia care, long term care for hip fractures, heart failure and other medical conditions that have worsened over time. Medicare does not usually cover the long term placement.

The many choices in dementia care can be overwhelming. Talk to your doctor about where to start. Visit adult day care, assisted living facilities and nursing homes, and interview the social workers and admission professionals. Hospital discharge social workers are also a good source of help; their job is to find placements for hospital patients who are being discharged and they know many of the area resources.

In addition, most counties have an office dedicated to consulting for elderly issues, such as the county Area Agency for the Aging (AAA) or there are Geriatric Care Consultants, who you can find in your yellow pages, who will advise you about the choices in dementia care in your community.

Don't be afraid to ask questions about the care and how to finance it; there are many government programs that may help pay the cost.

Without Zinc You Are Headed Towards Dementia or Alzheimer's

Zinc is one of those minerals that have been discovered necessary to hold off the onset of dementia or Alzheimer's. Most older people and those with dementia and other mental disorders have been found to be deficient in zinc. In most studies zinc has been shown to improve mental capacity in elders.

To get zinc into your blood stream you need to have a specific acid that is excreted by the pancreas. This acid is called "picolinic acid" When food containing zinc or zinc supplements reaches the small intestine, duodenum, the pancreas excretes picolinic acid. This acid binds with zinc and moves it across your intestine wall and into the blood stream.

Picolinic acid is created in the liver and kidneys from the amino acid tryptoph. This amino acid then moves into the pancreas. If you have diabetes or if your pancreas is overworked or weak, you will not be excreting enough picolinic acid and will not be providing enough zinc to your brain. You will need to supplement your diet with zinc.

The type of zinc you need is one that is bound with picolinic acid. This type is called "zinc picolinate." There are other type of zinc supplements such as zinc citrate and zinc gluconate, but there are not absorb as good as zinc picolinate. If you cannot get zinc picolinate then the next best is zinc gluconate.

The body has many uses for zinc and this can contribute to a deficiency of zinc in the blood for the brain. The body uses zinc for helping,

* in chemical reactions with enzymes * with antioxidants to prevent arteriosclerosis * with DNA to prevent dementia or Alzheimer' * with cells activity * kidneys to maintain acid base balance. * with carbon dioxide removal * make pancreatic enzymes * your liver to detoxify alcohols * and the list goes on and on.

Here are some of the foods to add to your diet to get more zinc.

beef, lamb, cheese, yeasts, oysters, Shrimp, herring, sunflower seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame Seeds, wheat germ & bran, Mushrooms, Spinach, Squash, Asparagus, Collard Greens, Broccoli ,Chard, Miso, Maple Syrup

Zinc can be toxic in excessive amounts. A safe amount to take is 20 - 25 mg per day. Do not take more than 40 mg per day. Toxic effects are stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, cramps, and diarrhea.

Add these foods and zinc picolinate to your diet in an effort to starve off dementia and Alzheimer's. There are a few more special nutrients that you should include in your diet to prevent degradation of your mental thinking.

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