Memory loss, along with a decline in other mental abilities that interferes with a person’s life, is called dementia. Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common and most recognized form of the affliction. Dementia includes other symptoms beyond memory loss; communication may be hindered, along with an inability to focus or pay attention. Reasoning, judgment, and visual perception may also be adversely affected. The main cause of dementia is damage to brain cells that prohibits their normal function.
Many types of dementia gradually worsen over time. Symptoms of dementia should be addressed immediately to determine their cause, as an early diagnosis allows the patient to benefit from available treatments, even providing an opportunity to volunteer for clinical trials. Knowing what to expect also helps for future planning.
While age and genetics can’t be changed, there are ways to reduce the risk of dementia. You can protect your brain by not smoking; maintaining recommended levels of cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar; and maintaining a healthy weight. Physical exercise offers benefits by increasing blood and oxygen flow to brain cells. Eating a heart-healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean diet that emphasizes whole grains, fruits and vegetables, fish, and olive oil can also reduce your risk.
If you have questions about dementia, or need information to help a loved one with the disease, join the Dementia Support Group at Newton Health Care Center. Experienced and caring staff can help ease the transition for the patient and their loved ones. The monthly support group is for families, friends, and visitors who have a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. All are welcome, even those who don’t have a family member at the facility. Meetings are the third Tuesday of each month, at 3:30 pm. Light refreshments are provided, and reservations are not required. For more information, please contact:
Newton Health Care Center
200 S. 8th Ave. East
Newton, IA 50208