Dementia is a set of symptoms that may include memory loss, sudden cognitive decline, and personality changes. Most of the time, these symptoms occur after the age of 65, but there are rare cases of early-onset dementia being diagnosed in much younger people. Here’s a look at five of the most common risk factors for early-onset dementia and a few tips that can help older adults preserve their cognitive health well into their senior years.
1. Family Medical History
Researchers now know of at least a few gene disorders that virtually guarantee an individual will develop early-onset dementia. There’s currently no way to alter these genes, but an early diagnosis can open up quite a few treatment options that could minimize the symptoms. Starting at the age of 35, people who have family histories of dementia should be screened for early warning signs at least once a year.
People with early-onset dementia may need help performing daily tasks around the house. At-home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
2. Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
Most forms of dementia are caused by clusters of protein in the brain called plaques. Traumatic brain injuries don’t create these plaques, but they can speed up the clustering process and worsen the symptoms. Falls are currently the leading cause of TBIs, which is why it’s important for all adults to exercise, stay at a healthy weight, and work on their balance. Those who have balance or strength issues must also use proper safety equipment and mobility devices.
When aging adults develop early-onset dementia, their family members aren’t always able to provide the care they need and deserve. Caring for a senior with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers. Luckily, there is dementia care Tucson families can rely on. Professional dementia caregivers help seniors with dementia stay safe and comfortable at home by preventing wandering, providing cognitive stimulation, and assisting with household chores.
3. Environmental Toxins
Even though the EPA has strict regulations regarding environmental toxins, many families are exposed to dangerous chemicals for years without realizing it. One of the best ways to limit exposure to environmental toxins is to hire an experienced inspector to test the air inside your home. Airborne toxins such as radon and asbestos can destroy brain cells, damage soft tissue, and increase the risk of many types of cancer. Luckily, some of the most common toxins can easily be removed from the air with a high-quality filtration system.
4. Drug & Alcohol Use
For most people, having the occasional alcoholic beverage isn’t dangerous, but heavy drinkers can do quite a bit of damage to their brain cells and synapses. Many prescription and illicit drugs can also negatively impact the brain. Support teams comprised of medical doctors and rehabilitation specialists can help people come up with long-term plans for beating their addictions while avoiding relapses.
5. Cardiovascular Events
Strokes, arrhythmias, and heart attacks are examples of acute cardiovascular events, and recent studies have shown these events increase the risk of developing dementia. The most effective way to avoid these issues is to completely overhaul dietary habits. A person’s diet should consist of lean proteins, whole grains, and fresh produce. Exercising for at least 150 minutes a week is another simple way to boost heart health and keep blood pressure under control.
Dementia is one of the many health conditions older adults are susceptible to. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home care Tucson, Arizona, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. We will work with you to create a customized home care plan that’s suited for your loved one’s unique needs. Call the Home Care Assistance team at (520) 276-6555 today.