Do you have a history of dementia throughout your family? Are you worried about your chances of developing a troubling disease like Alzheimers? Alzheimer?s disease is the only top 10 cause of death in the U.S. that cannot be prevented, slowed, or cured. It causes you to forget many of your long term and short term memories. You may have difficulty remembering where you live, how old you are, or who important people in your life are. Considering that some forms of dementia can be genetic, it can be especially anxiety producing to come from a long line of dementia sufferers. Although it is not helpful to dwell on the possibility of dementia, the following steps can better help you to prepare for it.
Receive regular medical checkups
Dementia cannot always be detected before symptoms begin to show, but routine medical care is still important. Your physician may be able to identify symptoms of a progressing dementia disease that could affect other areas of your health. They will also be an important part in your dementia care and in finding the best resources. Many memory care centers also require a formal diagnosis of dementia, which will come from your primary physician. There are currently over 100 different types of dementia, but Alzheimer?s is the most common, accounting for 60 to 80% of dementia diagnoses.
Even if you have a strong genetic predisposition to a dementia disease, this does not necessarily mean that you will get it. Researchers are still conducting many different types of studies to better understand what causes dementia and how it can be treated, or slowed. Remaining active is an important step in keeping dementia symptoms at bay. Remain active with regular exercise, as well as mental exercises. Mental exercises include crossword puzzles, frequent communication, reading, traveling, and interactive games. If your dementia eventually forces you to move to a memory care facility, look for an active one that provides its residents with many activities.
Develop a care plan
Caring for a loved one with dementia can be extremely difficult. The loved one often forgets who their caregiver is, even though they are spending the majority of their time caring for them. Reduce these difficult responsibilities of your loved ones, by coming up with a possible care plan. Lay out specific caretaking steps, including the exact memory care center you want to become a resident of. Leave them instructions for selling your house and belongings.
Your family will appreciate the care and thought in developing your care plan. It can also be helpful to establish finances ahead of time. Nursing homes and memory care centers can be expensive, especially if they are not covered by insurance. If you do not have a loved one that is familiar with your current insurance policies or finances, leave this information for them. It will make the entire transitioning process easier for everyone.
Become active in research and awareness programs
The U.S. government allotted $450 million for Alzheimer?s research in 2011. More funds are still needed for effective research. A great amount of awareness is also needed to raise these needed funds. Unless a person has experience with dementia and Alzheimer?s care, they tend to know very little about it. With dementia being so close to you, find a way to help out the cause. Join awareness campaigns, encourage your family and friends to become involves, and donate to the research efforts.
Dementia is a common disease among seniors. The disease is severely debilitating, causing you to lose many of your memories. There is a strong component to dementia diseases, so you may already have a good idea of your chances of developing some type of dementia. If dementia diseases are a part of your long family history, begin making important steps for your future now. Lay out a care plan for family and friends, including the specific memory care center you prefer. Evaluate how you will pay for such care. In the meantime, remain very active and do your part in increases funding and awareness of the dementias.