Home Care for Vascular Dementia
Vascular Dementia is a type of dementia that affects senior citizens, particularly those aged 65 and above. This condition causes a gradual decline in cognitive function, with symptoms that start out mild and worsen over time due to the progressive nature of the disease.
Causes of Vascular Dementia:
Vascular dementia is the second most prevalent cause of dementia in individuals over the age of 65 following Alzheimer’s disease. It is caused by a series of small strokes, also known as infarcts, which disturb or block the blood supply to any portion of the brain. Multi-infarct refers to the fact that more than one area of the brain has been damaged due to a lack of blood. When blood flow is stopped for more than a few seconds, the brain is unable to receive oxygen, resulting in the death of brain cells and permanent damage.
When strokes affect a small area, they may not cause any symptoms, which are referred to as silent strokes. As more areas of the brain are damaged over time, the symptoms of dementia appear. Dementia can also be caused by larger strokes that affect strength, sensation, or other neurological functions.
Risk factors include:
– Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) as well as heart disease
– Hypertension (high blood pressure)
– Stroke or other vascular diseases
It is important to note that symptoms of dementia may also be caused by other types of disorders of the brain. Alzheimer’s disease is one such disorder that can produce similar symptoms to those of vascular dementia. Vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are the two most common causes of dementia and can occur together.
- Vascular dementia symptoms can include
- Difficulty with tasks that were once easy, like paying bills
- Trouble learning new information and routines,
- Forgetting current or past events, misplacing items,
- Getting lost on familiar routes,
- Problems with language, difficulty reading and writing,
- Loss of interest in things or people,
- Changes in personality, behavior, and mood like depression, agitation, anger, hallucinations or delusions,
- Poor judgment and loss of ability to perceive danger.
Caring for someone with Vascular Dementia requires careful planning and attention throughout the progression of the disease. It is important to start caregiving early so that the individual, their family, and the caregiver can become comfortable with each other and plan the next steps according to their specific diagnosis, lifestyle, and symptoms.
Early intervention can also help slow down the progression of the condition. A skilled caregiver can provide companionship and keep the patient engaged with different activities to stimulate their cognitive abilities. The caregiver can also work closely with your loved one’s physician to coordinate any treatment plans and oversee physical therapy if required. Taking care of yourself as a caregiver for your loved one can be quite challenging.