Dementia is a term that describes a group of symptoms of cognitive impairment including memory, social abilities, and thinking. These symptoms are severe enough to interrupt daily life and interfere with daily tasks. It isn’t one specific disease. In fact, several different diseases may cause Dementia.
Many people aren’t aware that different types of Dementia exist. If there is someone in your life who has recently been diagnosed with a specific type of Dementia, the more you know about it can help you to better understand their behavioural and personality changes. You’ll be able to cope better in challenging times when you have some educational tools behind you.
A lot of people also don’t know that there are private home care services in Toronto that specialize in professional Dementia Care to people living with Dementia. Integracare is a home healthcare provider for Seniors that has been around for nearly 30 years. We offer Home Nursing, Personal Support Services, and a wide range of home health services in Toronto and Mississauga. It’s always a good idea to look into Dementia Care healthcare options as soon as a diagnosis has been made.
We understand that a Dementia diagnosis is really difficult and that you probably don’t want to think about anything but helping your loved one. Consider how home healthcare can really benefit people living with Dementia. Your family member or friend won’t have to abruptly leave their home and they can stay comfortably in a place that’s familiar to them.
Our Caregivers are specially educated in Dementia Care and receive exclusive on-going training and education from the Alzheimer’s Society of Toronto. They’re trained to handle any situation and know that not every type of Dementia is the same.
Understanding the difference between the varying levels of memory loss is critical to know how to cope with any behavioural challenges your loved one might experience. It will also come into play with knowing the levels of care that are available to suit your friend or family member’s needs, so they can live comfortably and with dignity.
If a loved one has been diagnosed with Dementia recently, familiarize yourself with the four common types below so you can be there for them throughout the journey.
1. Alzheimer’s disease
The most common form of Dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. It accounts for about 60 to 80 percent of all Dementia cases. Some people like to describe it as a slow process of going backwards in time. An individual with Alzheimer’s disease will usually begin with short-term memory loss — they’ll repeat themselves often, forget where they put their keys, and ask the same question over and over.
Eventually, the individual will essentially go back in time to earlier days, because the days of the present are no longer remembered. Long-term memories remain while short-term memories disintegrate. Going backwards in time means that Clients with the disease may not recognize a spouse or a child, for example.
Individuals with Alzheimer’s exhibit trouble with thinking and reason, and may have very little orientation of time. The progress of the disease has been divided into seven stages. It starts with simple confusion and as time passes, the person will lose significant abilities that include swallowing and speaking. Full-time care is absolutely necessary once these stages occur.
If you’re a family member or friend, witnessing your loved one’s memories evaporate is extremely challenging. We have outstanding Senior caregiver services and compassionate Caregivers who are there for you and your loved one 24-7. Alzheimer’s disease is not something that any family can face alone.
2. Vascular Dementia
Vascular Dementia, also known as “Post Stroke Dementia,” is quite different from Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, Vascular Dementia is brain damage traced to cardiovascular problems, or mini-strokes that create bleeding or harm in the brain.
You can identify Vascular Dementia symptoms when drastic changes occur immediately following a stroke. These symptoms could include changes in personality and reasoning. Trouble remembering, paying attention, and organizing thoughts can all be symptoms of this type of Dementia.
It’s not always a result of a stroke. Vascular Dementia can also result from other conditions that damage blood vessels and weaken circulation, depriving the brain of vital nutrients and oxygen.
The Dementia Care Toronto Clients receive with Integracare is deeply compassionate and always without judgement. Our highly trained and experienced Caregivers know how to react to common behavioural scenarios, and increasing Clients’ quality of life is always our top priority.
As the disease progresses, we’ll work closely with you and your loved one’s doctors to create the best and most beneficial plan for them.
3. Lewy Body Dementia
Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) is a common yet frequently undiagnosed or misdiagnosed type of Dementia. LBD has been described as a combination of Alzheimer’s symptoms with Parkinson’s disease symptoms.
There is a cognitive decline that is similar to Alzheimer’s, but it creates a stiffness or rigidity in the body that is typically associated with Parkinson’s. In addition to these symptoms, individuals experience visual hallucinations and problems with sleep patterns (such as sleepwalking). They can experience periods of total clarity and then very abruptly become confused and display nonsensical thinking.
Clients with LBD who suffer from body stiffness and rigidity enjoy regular visits from Integracare RMTs because it helps to alleviate pain in the limbs and joints. Massage therapy is an excellent tool for patients with Dementia not simply because it provides pain relief (although that is very important), but also because it provides the healing power of touch.
Integracare offers an array of home healthcare services, including massage therapy and physiotherapy. Our specialized Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs) are trained to be gentle with Seniors, particular those who suffer from Dementia.
Dementia can feel incredibly isolating and for some Clients, it’s hard and sometimes impossible to express these lonely feelings to others. A gentle massage lets your loved one feel wanted and acknowledged.
4. Frontotemporal Dementia
Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) happens when deterioration occurs in the Frontal and Temporal Lobes of the brain. The individual will experience difficulties with language and deep changes to their personality and behaviour.
The Temporal lobe affects how people behave and react to things and the Frontal lobe has to do with cognitive and emotional processes, as well as voluntary movement. The executive functions of the brain including judgment, planning, and analyzing are all inhabited in the Frontal lobe.
When an individual has been diagnosed with FTD they will slowly begin to withdraw into themselves. They may also lose inhibitions, and actions can sometimes be shocking. As the illness progresses, they tend to lose interest in others around them and their surroundings. They tend to convey emptiness in their emotions — lacking sadness and have little need to engage with others.
If your loved one suffers from FTD, you can contact us anytime to learn about our home healthcare service. Our professional Caregivers can be there for your family member or friend when you can’t. They will ensure that they’re looked after and complete tasks such as cooking, cleaning, bathing, and monitor pain medication. We also offer live-in care.
There is no simple answer or solution to Dementia. However, we’d like to think we bring a little bit of joy, if not reprieve, into the lives of our Clients and their families. Regardless of the type of Dementia your loved one is living with; they deserve the absolute highest quality of life. With our professional and empathetic healthcare providers and service, we want to help them receive just that.