Dementia Warning Signs

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Memory loss is common with age. However, suffering from memory loss is not the same as suffering from dementia. Often incorrectly referred to as “senility,” dementia is actually caused by damage to the brain cells. This means that those with any history of a traumatic brain injury, or head trauma are more likely to manifest symptoms of dementia. Most people don’t know there are actually four different kinds of dementia, each with its own causes and symptoms. Since one in three seniors will die with dementia, it’s important to understand and look for warning signs in yourself or your elderly loved ones.

Types of Dementia and Warning Signs

  1. Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and accounts for 60-80 percent of all cases.

  • Difficulty remembering recent conversations, names, or events.
  • Apathy or depression.
  • Impaired communication.
  • Difficulty speaking, swallowing, and walking.

If your senior loved one is suffering from Alzheimer’s, there can be a toll to caring for them. In fact, 35% of care-givers for those with Alzheimer’s report their health has suffered as a result of care. In these cases, it might be best to seek an in-home care provider.

  1. Vascular Dementia

Vascular Dementia is the second most common type of dementia typically occurs in seniors after a stroke and is also known as multi-infarct dementia.

  • Difficulty making decisions.
  • Impaired judgment.
  • Difficulty planning and organizing.

Unlike Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia is less about memory loss and more about judgment loss. If you find your elderly loved one struggling with decision making, planning, and organizing beyond daily stressors, consider reaching out to a doctor.

  1. Frontotemporal Dementia

Frontotemporal Dementia occurs when there’s nerve cell loss in the temporal lobe.

  • Deterioration in personality or behavior.
  • Inability to remember simple language patterns.
  • Alterations in motor function or muscle memory.

A patient with Frontotemporal Dementia might anger easily, behave erratically, or seem afraid over situations that seem simple to loved ones.

  1. Normal Pressure Hydrocephalous

Normal Pressure Hydrocephalous is caused by a build-up of fluid in the brain and is reversible in some cases.

  • Difficulty walking and balancing.
  • Decline in thinking skills, or taking longer to process information and respond.
  • Loss of bladder control.

If your elderly loved one is suffering from Normal Pressure Hydrocephalous, their symptoms might be confused with Alzheimer’s so it’s important to undergo brain imaging to determine if NPH is the cause. In some cases, doctors can perform a spinal tap or shunt to help reverse some of the symptoms.

Caring for a loved one with dementia is time consuming and often costly. If this is the case for you, and your loved one still maintains a life insurance policy they no longer need, did you know they can sell all or a portion of their life insurance policy for an amount greater than the cash surrender value? Life settlements (also known as viatical settlements) can provide the extra income you need for quality care. Our website has answers for you, to these questions and others, like, “What is a viatical settlement?” Visit Life Settlement Advisors and learn more.

Case Study:

At age 77, Cheryl began having difficulty remembering conversations with her husband Jerry. By age 79, Jerry was afraid to let her drive or leave her at home alone. Jerry needed help and their children lived half way across the country. Jerry discovered he could sell Cheryl’s life insurance policy for $96,000 and use these funds to hire an in-home service provider that could help out each day.

Download our free resource, Causes of a Dementia Diagnosis and the Early Warning Signs You Should Know, to educate yourself to spot dementia before it arrives.

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