Dementia in the Aging Population
Dementia is another common health condition in the elderly. The term dementia describes a group of symptoms that boil down to a deterioration in cognitive functions, behavior, personality, and social skills. The severity of this decline impairs the older adult’s normal day-to-day activities.
The most common form of progressive dementia is Alzheimer’s disease that affects 60 to 80 percent of the elderly with dementia. While dementia is not a normal part of aging, nearly half of people aged 85 or older experience some dementia.
Dementia progresses slowly, and the person typically suffers from mild symptoms initially so that you may miss the signs.
Nevertheless, some of the first symptoms of dementia can involve:
- Memory loss
- Impaired reasoning and judgment
- Problems with self-management
- A decline in communication skills
- An impaired ability to focus and pay attention
In the last stages, when symptoms of dementia are most severe, the illness affects all aspects of the person’s life, typically causing them to become utterly dependent on others for primary care.
Dementia and depression can cause mood swings, even if your loved one hasn’t experienced them before.
Managing mood swings, irritability, depression, and anger in the elderly with dementia can be draining. So, understanding what causes your elderly parent’s mood swings and angry outbursts can help you experience empathy and prevent meltdowns and aggressive outbursts.