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After David Cassidy announced that he has dementia, Great Day Washington wanted to create a segment about the disease. They wanted to help people learn what dementia is, how it differs from Alzheimer’s and more. Spring Hills Senior Communities’ Lesa Scott, Vice President Resident Services & Program Development/RN and Certified Dementia Practitioner, was joined by Juanita Wright, the sister of one of Spring Hills Mt. Vernon Assisted Living’s dementia residents to answer these questions.
The piece, which is below for you to view, covered the signs that family members should look for if they are concerned someone may have dementia. These signs include:
Inability to recall short term memory; such as what you did yesterday or had for dinner last night
Decline in motor function- loss of physical ability to perform routine task
Disorientation – getting lost on routine trips; may also start to forget familiar people, dates, places
Behavior Changes – This may include usual personality traits- suddenly becoming easily agitated when the person was once easy going
Sexual actions – becoming sexual without awareness their actions are inappropriate; for example, undressing in public
Cognitive decline – simple as inability to reason, or more severe decline; such as in the ability to think, read, learn, problem solve; loss of language and speech, the inability to communicate ones needs
They also talked about the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s disease:
Dementia is a syndrome – a group of symptoms that affects mental cognitive task such as memory and reasoning
Alzheimer’s Disease – a progressive disease of the brain that slowly causes memory loss and cognitive function. There is no cure available.
Juanita was able to talk personally about her experience recognizing the signs Lesa mentioned in her sister.
They also offered Five Alzheimer’s Preventive Measures you can take now.
Nutrition– Eat plant based diet; green leafy vegetable and blueberries, which is known as a superfood
Increase Omega- 3 fatty acids; these are found in things like fish, salmon, Mackerel and Tuna; known to reduce Beta Amyloid Plaques
Control your Blood Pressure – Hypertension is associated with both Alzheimer’s and Vascular Dementia
Exercise – Move! At least 150 min or more of exercise per week
Surround yourself with a strong social support group of people – family and friends; don’t isolate yourself