Over 55 million people worldwide are living with dementia, a brain disorder that affects memory, thinking and social skills. The biggest risk factor is age–people 65-years-old and older tend to get dementia more and while there’s no cure, there are several things people can do to help prevent the syndrome such as maintaining a healthy weight, eating food loaded with antioxidants, getting 150 minutes of exercise a week and brain exercises like puzzles. There’s warning signs to be aware of and Sean Marchese, MS, RN, a registered nurse at The Mesothelioma Center with a background in oncology clinical trials and over 15 years of direct patient care experience shares what they are.
What Should People Know About Dementia?
Marchese says, “Dementia is a broad term for declining cognitive ability typically associated with older adults and certain illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2014 that an estimated 5 million adults live with dementia, which is projected to increase to 14 million by 2060. People should also know that dementia is not a normal part of aging and shouldn’t go untreated. Dementia is also associated with some medical disorders, such as vascular or nervous diseases.”
How Can Dementia Affect Your Overall Health and Quality of Life?
According to Marchese, “Some memory changes associated with dementia include mild confusion or disorientation, difficulty finding the right word, misplacing keys or household items and forgetting the names of important people or the dates of important events. Dementia burdens quality of life and creates challenges for even the most mundane daily tasks. In addition to memory, dementia can affect communication skills, reasoning, judgment, attention and visual perception.”