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4 Most Common Types of Dementia in Seniors

Dementia is a confusing and overwhelming disease, not only for the person afflicted with it, but for friends and family as well.

Dementia is a confusing and overwhelming disease, not only for the person afflicted with it, but for friends and family as well. Educating yourself as much as possible is key to peace of mind for everyone involved.

Solterra Senior Living wants to ensure you have the knowledge and resources you need at your disposal to best help your loved one suffering from dementia, so here are the four most common types of dementia in seniors and what you should know about each one:

1. Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, it accounts for roughly two-thirds of dementia cases.

Alzheimer’s impacts the mind through memory, thought, and overall behavior. It is a progressive disease, with symptoms worsening over time. As symptoms progress, Alzheimer’s can also affect mood and cause otherwise uncharacteristic behavior.

While there is no cure, there are medications available that may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and enhance the quality of life for those diagnosed with the condition.

2. Vascular Dementia

Vascular dementia may exist by itself or in conjunction with other forms of dementia. It is caused by reduced blood flow to certain regions of the brain and may follow another major medical event, such as a stroke. A person suffering from vascular dementia may experience confusion or a lack of focus and could have difficulty speaking or walking. They may also exhibit personality or mood changes, including becoming more irritable.

Like Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia is a progressive condition with symptoms often worsening over time. The best way to treat vascular dementia is to address the underlying condition or medical event that may have caused it

3. Frontotemporal Dementia

Frontotemporal dementia is the result of disorders characterized by nerve damage in the brain’s frontal or temporal lobes. While the exact cause is unknown, genetic abnormalities may contribute to it.

Unlike other forms of dementia which occur primarily in older adults, the majority of those with frontotemporal dementia are diagnosed in their 40s to early 60s. Symptoms may include difficulty speaking or walking and changes in behavior, such as someone suddenly behaving inappropriately or acting out of character.

4. Lewy Body Dementia

Lewy body dementia is caused by protein deposits that form in the nerve cells of the brain regions that control memory, thought, and movement. Lewy body dementia affects more than 1,000,000 people nationwide. The condition seems to affect more men than women, and it typically occurs in those 50 and older, though it may occur in younger individuals as well.

Those with Lewy body dementia may experience hallucinations as well as symptoms often associated with Parkinson’s, such as difficulty walking, tremors, and impaired movement. They may also have trouble sleeping and experience dizziness, problems controlling their bladder, and behave aggressively or exhibit signs of depression.

If you suspect your loved one is suffering from dementia, it may be helpful to seek professional expertise and guidance. If you would like to learn more about the memory care services at Solterra, reach out through our website. We’d be happy to show you what we have to offer and work with you to develop a personalized care plan for your loved one.