The good news: Americans are living longer lives than at nearly any other point in history. The bad news: as we age, we grow more susceptible to the ravages of time, and our brains are by no means immune. Dementia, which takes a number of different forms, is growing in prevalence, with a manifold increase in prevalence expected by 2050. That taxes our healthcare system, and places a burden on families attempting to preserve loved ones’ dignity with home memory care as well. Against this backdrop, AmeriStaff Nursing Services is a vital lifeline for Southeast Michigan families.
Dementia Types, Causes, and Symptoms
Dementia is actually a series of disorders, each with its own causes, symptoms, and treatments. In order of prevalence, these include:
Alzheimer’s disease is by far the most common kind of dementia, accounting for up to 80 percent of cases. In the early stages, it can mimic other disorders like depression, while other symptoms (like forgetfulness) are easy to write off as just another routine part of aging. As the disease progresses, brain cell death leads to loss of brain functions governing speech, motor skills, and mood regulation. Its causes are still under investigation, and its treatment complicated by accompanying disorders.
Vascular dementia is brought on by a lack of blood flow to the brain. Sometimes this is a natural part of aging; in other cases, a stroke, atherosclerosis, diet, and smoking or substance use can cause the onset of vascular dementia. Onset may be slow, or sudden, and is characterized by confusion, lack of concentration, vision problems, and hallucinations.
Lewy Body Dementia
Lewy bodies are protein deposits found in nerve cells. Those deposits interfere with neurotransmission, resulting in memory loss, disorientation, and changes in sleep patterns. Some symptoms, like tremors and loss of motor control, can mimic those of Parkinson’s.
Parkinson’s disease is not dementia, but dementia is a hallmark of the disease’s later stages. Forgetfulness, confusion, hallucinations, and difficulty processing visual information all accompany this kind of dementia, leading to depression, irritability, or paranoia.
Frontotemporal dementia can occur early in life, and results from damage to the frontal lobe. Because this area affects language and behavior, sudden loss of inhibitions, lack of motivation, or impulsive behavior can all be signs. The cause is as yet unknown, but research suggests a genetic/familial link.
Huntington’s disease is caused by genetics. While it can have a juvenile or adolescent onset, the adult form is more common and begins to manifest in the individual’s 30’s or 40’s. Impaired movement or paralysis is the most common sign of the disease, but because it attacks nerve cells, dementia is not uncommon.
Other Forms of Dementia
Other forms of dementia also exist, some uncommon. These include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), which is only diagnosed in one in a million people; Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which often accompanies vitamin deficiency or severe alcoholism; HIV-related dementia, which can arise in advanced stages of the disease especially when diagnosis was late or treatment uneven; and mixed dementia, a common condition where multiple disorders present simultaneously.
As we’ve already seen, there’s a wide range of disorders falling under the category of dementia. Disease progression and treatment are as varied, therefore, as manifestations and causes. For this reason, we customize care for each patient, starting with a free evaluation by a dementia professional who will visit your Michigan home. We work hand-in-hand with the patient’s primary care physician and specialists, delivering a holistic approach to dementia care that benefits patients and their families alike.
Why Choose AmeriStaff
AmeriStaff Nursing Services recognizes that many kinds of dementia call for an individualized approach to treatment. For this reason, we ensure that our home health care providers are licensed, registered, and certified, that their education in dementia care remains ongoing, and that your loved one will be cared for by staff that takes time to build rapport with patients and their families. For your peace of mind, our field staff are also insured and bonded.
To better face the challenges posed by dementia treatment, we augment care with support services that include memory care, activities, nutritional support, occupational therapy, and much more. Furthermore, we offer flexible care durations that range from respite care to 24-hour care, as well as placements for medical facilities.
Insurance We Accept
We firmly believe that dementia patients’ families and caregivers should be able to focus on their loved ones’ care. That’s why we’re close at hand to help our clients understand and deal with insurance companies, benefits administrators, and others they’ll encounter, as well as keeping full and accurate supporting documentation that can help if an insurance claim, or a claim associated with Medicare and Medicaid, is denied. If your insurer won’t budge, we do offer flexible payment plans.
Getting in Touch with Dementia Caregivers in Southeast Michigan
When a loved one has dementia, you want care you can trust, and to be sure that your loved one and your family alike will be in good hands. That’s why so many families in Southeast Michigan turn to AmeriStaff Nursing Services for compassionate dementia care. For a free consultation, get in touch today.