When you or someone you love receives a dementia diagnosis, it can be an overwhelming and confusing time. While some questions have been answered, several more have likely arisen. It is like finding one piece of a puzzle while five others have been taken out of the picture.
Right now, you may be looking for where to focus your attention and what steps you should be taking. Our Franklin Park® Senior Living team offers memory care throughout Texas and understands that this is an emotional time for your family. We are sharing some questions to ask to help you navigate what happens after receiving a dementia diagnosis.
What Type of Dementia Has Been Diagnosed?
Many think of dementia as one disease, but dementia is a term used to describe several conditions that impact cognitive functions. Some of the most common types of dementia include:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Vascular dementia
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Lewy body dementia
Knowing which type of dementia you or your loved one has been diagnosed with will help you understand what to expect as the condition progresses, as well as enable your family to come up with the best treatment plan.
What Signs and Symptoms Should I Expect?
Dementia affects everyone differently, and symptoms can vary depending on the type of dementia. While many people associate memory loss with dementia, this is not the only symptom.
Common symptoms generally associated with dementia can include:
- Memory loss that affects daily life
- Trouble with language (difficulty communicating or finding the right word)
- Difficulty with visual and spatial relationships
- Confusion with time or place
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks, planning, or organizing
- Trouble with coordination or motor functions
- Mood or personality changes
- Increased anxiety or paranoia
- Decreased or poor judgment
- Difficulty reasoning or problem-solving
Is it Possible to Delay Further Cognitive Decline?
Dementia is a progressive condition, so being proactive about cognitive health is vital. While there’s currently no cure for dementia, researchers have identified some factors that promote cognitive health.
- Exercise helps prevent heart disease, lowers the risk for high blood pressure, and helps relieve insomnia, anxiety, and depression. In addition, “some studies have shown that engaging in a program of regular exercise improved cognitive function in people who already had memory problems (health.harvard.edu).”
- A Mediterranean diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, and olive oil and includes fish, poultry, and dairy products while limiting red meat. According to Harvard Health, this diet “appears to lower the risk of developing Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and slow the progression to dementia in people who have the condition.”
Mental stimulation also goes a long way in promoting brain health and improving cognitive functioning. Many researchers believe that education level is less important than the habit of staying mentally active.
What Care or Treatment Options are Available?
After a dementia diagnosis, you want to speak with a healthcare provider to uncover potential treatment and care options. Over time, living alone may no longer be a safe option, so you want to have a plan in place should that time come. Memory care communities can provide a solution.
Memory care services promote cognitive functioning and enhance an individual’s overall quality of life. Our Refreshing Waters® Memory Care Program at Franklin Park® Senior Living does just that.
We create an inviting, enjoyable, and, most of all, comfortable atmosphere for memory care residents and their families. Our Refreshing Waters® Memory Care Program provides a purpose-built environment designed to enhance daily routines and allow residents to continue life’s journey confidently and comfortably while surrounded by people who truly care for them.
In addition to our innovative programming, our memory care amenities and services include:
- Three healthy meals a day plus snacks
- Housekeeping and laundry services
- Lifecare memory stations
- Social, mental, and spiritual services
- Outdoor courtyard
- Transportation services
Even though this may be an emotional time, you are not alone. Our team at Franklin Park® Senior Living is here to help you navigate your family’s dementia and memory care journey. To learn more about our memory care program and what we offer at our Texas communities, we invite you to contact a member of our team today.