As people get older, they often encounter cognitive changes.

Decreases in memory, energy, and mood can affect everyone, but this does not indicate that all of these changes are normal or expected. While most seniors will have problems remembering little facts or losing interest in former pastimes, large changes in their moods and participation could indicate serious diseases such as melancholy or dementia.

According to research, these illnesses frequently coexist, and it can be difficult to tell them apart in their early stages. Understanding these disorders and how they may affect your loved one is a crucial aspect of your caregiver responsibility.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in its early stages

Alzheimer’s disease develops in stages. Functional difficulties become more obvious in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, one of the best memory care facilities near me. Tasks such as food preparation and financial management may become more difficult to do, if they can be completed at all. People with early-stage Alzheimer’s have a hard time remembering or putting down the correct date. Significant memory loss can also manifest itself in the form of forgetting key events that should be easy to recall, such as memories associated with major festivals.

“The signs and symptoms of early dementia are similar to those of depression.”

Mood swings are also common at this stage of the disease. People will typically become more withdrawn and have fewer emotional responses. Alzheimer’s patients are beginning to notice how their minds are changing, which can have a huge impact on their personalities.

Alzheimer’s disease can resemble depression in appearance.

Early dementia has many physical and mental symptoms that are similar to those of depression. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, older people suffering from depression lose their energy. They cease doing things they used to do because they get tired more easily and have lost interest in activities or undertakings they used to like.

This may be similar to how persons with Alzheimer’s disease begin to avoid their former routines when tasks become more difficult for them. It’s hard to tell if your loved one is withdrawing from activities out of boredom or frustration at their inability to finish them.

Depression makes people feel hopeless, guilty, helpless, frightened, and empty on an emotional level. Early-stage Alzheimer’s disease causes people to become emotionally aloof and subdued. Both illnesses can affect a person’s appetite as well as their sleeping patterns.

They are linked.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, chronic depression is usually connected with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s patients can experience depression in up to 40% of cases. People may feel sad and helpless when dementia progresses and they know what is happening to them. Dementia patients are less likely than non-dementia patients to express their feelings or experiences.

While Alzheimer’s disease can lead to sadness, depression can also have an impact on dementia. According to the Mayo Clinic, depression can cause cognitive deterioration, affecting daily activities.

Getting therapy for a family member

If you think a dementia patient you care for is depressed, get them help. Avoid indicators of depression such as frequent sadness, anger, or excessive guilt.

The doctor may prescribe an antidepressant based on your loved one’s medical history and current drugs. Therapy, support groups, and social activities might help people feel less isolated if medicine isn’t the best option.

As a caregiver, you can also help your loved one deal with depression by doing things around the house. Take your loved one for short walks or other low-impact exercises to help them release endorphins and other feel-good chemicals. Reassuring and validating your loved one is also important, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Reassure them that they are safe, cherished, and that you will not desert them. Recognize their accomplishments and the manner in which they contribute to their support.

 

Depression and dementia are difficult to deal with, but with the right guidance and support, you can help your loved one get the care they need. For more info on Dementia and Depression: What’s The Connection call a memory care facility near me or visit your local memory care facility.

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