Having a loved one with a dementia diagnosis can be stressful for everyone involved. Because of the many worrying symptoms that come with dementia, they will need regular supervision and care. Memory loss is just one of the difficult factors of dementia, but it is important to pay attention to the senior’s mental health during this time.
Dementia and mental illness are often confused, as dementia can have similar symptoms to mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and depression. However, dementia is not classified as a mental illness, but as a brain disorder that causes memory loss. In the early stages, Alzheimer’s and dementia patients are likely to develop a mental illness, most commonly depression or anxiety, because of the debilitating nature of the disease.
Because of the confusion between dementia and mental illness, correctly diagnosing seniors is crucial because they need proper treatment. It is very easy to misdiagnose dementia, as mental illness and dementia can show in similar ways.
How to Support a Senior with Dementia
When in the early stages of dementia, seniors are likely to develop symptoms of anxiety or depression when they have become aware of their decline in health.
Here are a few steps you can take to support your loved one during this time:
- Listen to them and be empathetic. Do not dismiss their feelings; they are very real.
- Offer them support, comfort, and reassurance.
- Contact their doctor if they are showing serious signs of mental health issues.
Mental Health Treatment at Memory Care Communities
In the case of dementia, Alzheimer’s, or memory loss, a memory care community can be extremely helpful. Specifically designed for seniors with memory loss, these communities provide stimulating activities while keeping them safe and secure.
Avista Albuquerque is a specialized memory care community. Our team is dedicated to serving those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. We provide a specific level of care that our residents need to keep them safe and healthy. Schedule a tour with us today to see firsthand how our residents thrive.