Do you suspect your loved one may have some form of dementia? Vascular dementia, a mild to severe decline in cognition, is linked to the body’s cardiovascular system. It is triggered by decreased or blocked blood flow to the brain. Without this essential circulation, the body is depleted of the oxygen and nutrients necessary for proper functioning.
The symptoms of vascular dementia can start to develop suddenly following a stroke, or gradually over time due to many mild strokes or a widespread condition affecting small blood vessels. Vascular dementia, sometimes called vascular cognitive impairment, can be present in your loved one alongside other forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s or Lewy body dementia. To help you care for your family member, we have created an outline of variables that can increase your loved one’s risk of developing vascular dementia.
There’s at least a handful of drivers that could jeopardize the health of your loved one’s cardiovascular system. The top two factors that can increase your risk of developing vascular dementia include diabetes and genetics. Other variables that are associated with a high risk of developing this type of dementia include smoking, hypertension, unhealthy eating, excessive drinking, inadequate exercise, unhealthy weight, high cholesterol, and irregular heartbeat. To help you find a treatment for a family member, we have created a list of the two main risk factors of vascular dementia.
An American Diabetes Association study found that people with Type 2 diabetes had a 60% increased risk of developing dementia. It also concluded that women with diabetic predisposition were at a 19% higher risk than men are of developing vascular dementia. You can lower your mom or dad’s risk of encountering the symptoms of diabetes and vascular dementia by integrating exercise activities and healthy eating habits into their daily routine.
Much like diabetes, the risk for poor cardiovascular health has a genetic component. While no specific gene has been identified to control vascular dementia as with Alzheimer’s disease, today’s modern medicine should help protect your loved one, along with healthy lifestyle changes, to better handle any chronic health conditions.
Common Vascular Dementia Symptoms
The severity of the symptoms of vascular dementia is linked to the level of damage in the blood vessels and how that affects the operations of the brain.
Memory loss is the most notable indicator of this disease. However, a family member can experience many other vascular dementia symptoms that develop more noticeably over time. The most common symptoms of this type of dementia include confusion, difficulty balancing, disorientation, impaired judgement, and impaired social skills.
- Speech Difficulties
- Stroke-like Symptoms (e.g. sudden headache)
- Facial or Bodily Numbness & Paralysis
- Uncontrollable Laughing & Crying
- Shortened Attention Span
- Impaired Social Skills
How Vascular Dementia Is Diagnosed
If you suspect your parent may be experiencing some changes in their cognitive skills, they can undergo a wellness exam or seek out help for early detection—before the vascular dementia symptoms have advanced.
An annual wellness exam for senior citizens or older adults includes a cognitive assessment portion where a general physician can review their medical history and run your mom or dad through a couple of tests to check for impairment in thinking or judgment. They may also complete an MRI or other brain imaging tests to record changes in their thinking over time.
The best way to get the symptoms of vascular dementia diagnosed is through early detection screening and intervention. Do not wait until your family member has suffered a stroke to start cognitive assessments and treatment. Seek professional guidance and begin proactively tracking their health.
Vascular Dementia Treatment Options
Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved any medications as a direct treatment for vascular dementia, working with your mom and dad to control some of their risk factors could help slow the progression of their cognitive decline. Proper recovery and rehabilitation from a stroke is an excellent indirect treatment option for vascular dementia that can allow the brain to form new blood vessels and reassign working brain cells with new roles for an improved quality of life. If an individual does not receive proper care following a stroke, blockages may start to form in blood vessels leading to the brain. Once the circulation of blood and oxygen to the brain becomes restricted, your loved one’s chance of developing vascular dementia will start to increase.
Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Solutions
Terra Vista is a memory care assisted living community available exclusively for individuals who have Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia, and other forms of dementia. For this reason, every single member of our care staff is thoroughly trained in the best practices of helping your loved one with their dementia, so they can get the greatest experience possible when they join our community.
Instead of having our members live in stressful separated units, the staff at our Alzheimer’s care facility provides each resident with brain-stimulating activities, innovative security and care, state-of-the-art amenities, and emotional support. Our community features a barrier-free layout at an all-inclusive rate. Our 24/7 on-site certified nurses are always ready to help mom or dad with medication management, monitoring blood glucose levels, administering insulin, and other medical services.
Our residents are not the only individuals that benefit from the resources in our community. We even offer you resources so you can learn more about how to help your loved one stay happy and healthy through expert-led group workshops, personal consultations, and educational programs. Take the next step—get your loved one the dementia care and treatment they deserve by contacting the staff at our community by phone at (630) 534-0886.
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