Every three seconds, one person in the world suffers from dementia. WHO data show that in 2021, the number of people suffering from dementia in the world will increase to around 55 million. Its number is likely to double every 20 years. Dementia is the seventh leading cause of death worldwide. The number of people suffering from this disease in India is about 10 million. It is predicted that this number will increase to 14 million by 2050. It is frightening to see such a large number of elderly people falling victim to this disease. That’s why it’s important to know everything about Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease is essential
These days, the most feared disease among the elderly is dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Its numbers are increasing alarmingly all over the world. Dementia and Alzheimer’s cannot be eradicated forever. Its damage can be minimized by identifying it at the right time. That is why it is important that you know all about it.
Since dementia is a common disease in the elderly. Therefore, the chances of getting this disease increase with age over 60. It is imperative that the elderly have a basic awareness of this disease. Let them know about his early symptoms. This will enable them to adopt preventive measures in time.
World Alzheimer’s Day
September is known as Alzheimer’s month. It is important to create awareness among people around the world about dangerous diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. World Alzheimer’s Day is celebrated on September 21 to raise awareness about dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Dementia can be caused by these reasons
Dementia or dementia is not a separate disease. It is a general term that refers to cognitive impairment. This means that a person affected by dementia is not mentally normal. He loses the ability to think, remember or decide about any thing or activity. As the disease progresses, restlessness and anger can also be seen in the patient’s behavior.
This is mainly due to degeneration or loss of neurons. However, not all memory loss is dementia. It is natural that elderly people often forget someone’s name or forget to keep some things somewhere. Don’t worry too much about it. But when seniors start behaving like this again and again, then the situation can become worrisome.
Here are some common early symptoms of dementia
- persistent memory loss
- Forgetting time and place. misplacing things over and over again
- Mood swings/persistent behavioral changes
- Inability to make decisions, constantly in a state of confusion
- Inability to social interactions
- You feel that it is difficult to complete routine activities
If not properly diagnosed in the early stages, degeneration is often rapid. The patient may suffer from severe dementia. After that, it is almost impossible to return to the previous position. Such patients forget the reality of life, but also the people of their family.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are different
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are not names for the same disease. These are really different. Dementia is an umbrella term.
Alzheimer’s disease is only a small group of diseases. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for a large proportion of dementias. It can range from 60 to 70 percent. That’s why people sometimes start using these two words together. There are different forms of dementia – “Lewy bodies”, “mixed dementia”, “vascular dementia”, “frontotemporal”, etc.
What can be the measures to prevent memory loss
The exact cause of dementia is still unclear. Certain proteins are thought to be genetically responsible for this. Therefore, it is difficult to take concrete steps to avoid it. Like other diseases, it is necessary to maintain the health of body and mind. For that, a suitable way of life is necessary. It is possible that this may reduce the chances of getting dementia. For this it is very important to follow some things.
- healthy or good sleep
- healthy and balanced diet
- Regular physical exercises and walking
- A systematic mental stimulation game with yoga/meditation
- stay socially connected
- a stress-free life
Take care of your loved ones like this
Because a disease like dementia is difficult to prevent, we have to learn to live with it. It can happen to any of us. As a responsible citizen, we have to take some social/medical steps.
- One should try to understand the initial symptoms of people suffering in the family or society. Recognizing symptoms can prevent further progress. Therefore, early diagnosis is important.
- We should not create a misconception about a person with dementia as a socially responsible person.
- We should take the patient to a geriatric consultant or a neurologist or an Alzheimer’s specialist. This will enable early treatment and start treatment.
- Caring for such patients becomes very important. Guardians can be close family members or professionals. We have to take care of them in a very sensitive way, because their condition can further deteriorate.
- Sometimes family members are unable to care for them at home. Therefore, there are dedicated nursing homes with modern facilities and counseling services where such patients can be accommodated.
In the end
Dementia is difficult to prevent. With timely detection and medication, the process of its progression can be slowed down. But we must also be sensitive to the needs of such patients and treat them humanely.