Dementia more commonly develops around age 80, but early-onset dementia can occur when people in their 50s, 60s, or even younger. It’s normally associated with a few specific causes, such as certain health conditions or brain damage. Knowing the following causes of early-onset dementia can help your senior loved one make the lifestyle changes he or she needs to lower the risk.
1. Cardiovascular Issues
If there’s an issue with blood supply to the brain, a person may develop dementia early on. For example, a stroke, heart attack, or heart disease can lead to dementia. Roughly 15 percent of cases of early-onset dementia are due to vascular conditions. Your loved one can greatly lower the risk of vascular dementia by keeping his or her blood pressure and cholesterol at healthy levels. To maintain a healthy heart, your loved one may need to exercise more, lose weight, eat more fibre, or talk to the doctor about medications.
Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them attain this goal. Families can trust elderly home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living longer and healthier lives.
There’s some evidence linking certain types of early-onset dementia to genetics. People are far more likely to develop dementia in their 30s, 40s, or 50s if they have genetic mutations in a few specific genes. Only about 500 family groups in the world have these genes.
3. Physical Damage
Damage to the brain from a fall or other accident can cause dementia to occur much earlier than expected. This is called frontotemporal dementia because it occurs when the frontal lobes are severely damaged. Your loved one should try light strength training, balance, and flexibility exercises to prevent falls that could harm the brain.
If your loved one requires help maintaining a regular exercise routine or assistance with general mobility, consider hiring a professional caregiver. In Calgary, senior care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
Excessive drinking can damage the brain enough to bring on dementia at a younger age. People who drink heavily are particularly at risk for getting Korsakoff syndrome, a type of dementia caused by severe vitamin B1 deficiencies that typically occur among alcoholics with poor dietary habits. Fortunately, this type of dementia can sometimes be slowed, stopped, or even reversed as long as the person stops drinking alcohol and gets proper treatment.
Type 2 diabetes is a significant risk factor for early-onset dementia because excessive levels of blood glucose lead to decreased healing and high blood pressure. Over time, this can gradually cause damage to the cells in the brain because they’re not getting enough nutrients to function. If your loved one has diabetes, it’s important he or she takes prescribed medications when recommended. People can also reduce their risk of getting diabetes with regular physical activity and a healthy diet.
Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Calgary seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance. To learn more about our reliable, compassionate in-home care services, contact us at 403-301-3777 today.