Dementia is a medical condition characterized by a loss of memory and cognitive thinking skills. However, seniors don’t necessarily have dementia just because they misplace their car keys or forget the names of old acquaintances. Dementia is a complex disorder that can share some similarities with other medical issues. The symptoms of these five health conditions are frequently mistaken for dementia.
1. Urinary Tract Infections
Seniors commonly get urinary tract infections (UTIs) because their immune system is weakened. At first, a UTI just causes discomfort while urinating, but if the infection spreads up the urethra and reaches the bladder and kidneys, it can cause dementia-like symptoms. Seniors may get very sleepy, seem extremely confused, or have sudden bouts of anger and sadness. Clearing up a urinary tract infection is a relatively simple treatment that requires taking a course of antibiotics.
Possible antibiotic side effects in older adults include dizziness, confusion, and disruption in brain function, which can affect the ability to carry out routine tasks. Since these side effects can take a while to go away, it’s a good idea to have a trained caregiver around. Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Boca Raton, FL, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver.
2. Thyroid Disease
Thyroid hormones are responsible for managing metabolism and helping the body work right. Seniors who have an underactive or overactive thyroid gland may have difficulty remembering things, learning new skills, thinking quickly, or focusing. Other symptoms may include sudden changes in weight, sensitivity to certain temperatures, loss of hair, or an irregular heartbeat. Though it can take a while to diagnose thyroid issues, these symptoms clear up after taking medications or having surgery to balance out their thyroid levels.
3. Lyme Disease
Any senior who has gotten a tick bite in the past few decades may be infected with Lyme disease. These bacteria can live in the body undetected for years and gradually damage the nervous system. Lyme disease tends to make a person feel tired and have cloudy thinking, but antibiotics can reverse or halt the disease’s progression.
Seniors have a higher risk of depression than younger people, and it sometimes gets mistakenly diagnosed as dementia. Depression can cause people to avoid spending time with friends, express changing personality traits, or have difficulty making decisions. Some people with depression can even end up with memory issues due to extreme insomnia or trauma. Though it shares some similarities with dementia, depression isn’t as likely to be progressive and irreversible. It can often be managed by finding the right balance of medication and therapy.
Older adults who need assistance with routine tasks might not be able to step out of their homes alone to spend time with friends, which can lead to depression. Boca Raton elderly home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Hypoglycemia often occurs in seniors with diabetes. This condition is characterized by very low blood sugar, and it usually happens if a senior takes insulin without eating the right foods. Seniors who are having a hypoglycemic episode may act bizarrely or seem confused because the brain isn’t getting enough glucose to work correctly. Mild cases of hypoglycemia can be treated by eating candy or a spoonful of sugar, but in more severe cases, it’s a life-threatening condition that requires emergency medical treatment.
Older adults are vulnerable to dementia and several other medical conditions that can affect their quality of life, which is why they should take the necessary steps to maintain their overall health. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Boca Raton, Florida, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. If you have any questions about senior health or the premier professional home care we provide, feel free to schedule a consultation with one of our friendly Care Managers at (561) 826.9282 today.