Believe it or not, all of us have control over the likelihood of us developing a type of dementia as we continue to age. If you are a family member of an aged individual, here are some of the risk factors of dementia you can detect in your loved one.
While age is an uncontrollable element of your loved one’s body, it’s still important to recognize the relationship between aging and the various forms of dementia. The risk elderly individuals face of developing certain types of dementia (Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementia, and more) increases considerably as they age.
While patients suffering from dementia are usually 65 years old and above, early-onset dementia can occur even in individuals in their thirties. Even if your loved one is in healthy shape now, time passing should serve as a reminder to remember to value their health.
Alcohol and tobacco consumption has been well-documented over the years, proving to be a risk factor for dementia. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to alcoholic dementia, which leads to cognitive challenges such as memory impairment. Smoking has been proven to lead to cardiovascular risk, which is also another factor that can play a part in the onset of dementia. Hence, if your loved one is a drinker or a smoker, it may be time for them to kick the habit.
High levels of the harmful cholesterol known as low-density lipoprotein (LDL) can significantly raise an individual’s risk of suffering from vascular dementia. This can be due to several factors such as genetics, an overly fatty diet, or a sedentary lifestyle. Vascular dementia is a decline in cognitive ability due to a lack of blood flowing to the brain. Not only does high cholesterol lead to less blood flow to the brain, but it could also lead to artery blockage due to cholesterol buildup on arterial walls.
Other Health Conditions
Other health conditions go hand-in-hand with dementia, which could also be a warning sign for you to watch out for dementia symptoms in your loved one. Diabetes is a known risk factor for both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, to the point that Alzheimer’s disease is known as “type 3 diabetes” due to how similar the two diseases are. Diabetes’ negative impacts on the heart tend to affect the brain eventually, such as hypertension and stroke. Thus, if your loved one struggles with diabetes and heart issues as a result, they most likely are at higher risk of developing a form of dementia.
Parkinson’s disease is another disease that comes easily with age. Initially, it causes physical symptoms such as tremors and stiffness. However, as Parkinson’s disease progressively worsens in severity, many patients find themselves experiencing the onset of dementia as well.
Manage Dementia and Other Conditions with Us
With so many risk factors that threaten your loved one’s wellbeing, health conditions in your loved one are difficult to avoid in their advanced years. At TerraBella Hillsborough, our dedicated team supports your family by providing professional, round-the-clock care for your loved one. To learn more, read about our retirement community’s senior living options.