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Is My Elderly Parent Developing Dementia?

an adult child sits with their elderly parent under a tree possibly recognizing signs of dementia

Everyone experiences occasional forgetfulness, and as we age, these instances can become more common. Brain cells die with age. Medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes can intensify this occurrence. Aged-related memory loss is much different than dementia. Dementia is a progressive condition, meaning that it worsens over time and can have significant consequences, including the inability to function independently. Most people with dementia will eventually need professional senior memory care.

Buckner Villas is a faith-based senior living community in Austin, TX offering the full continuum of care. Our memory care program, The Harbor, provides a luxurious, home-like environment where residents receive the highest quality around-the-clock care in a safe and secure setting. If you are concerned that your elderly parent is showing signs of dementia, reach out to our team today to discuss your options for senior memory care. Use our secure online form or call 512.580.9882.

Learn to Recognize the Symptoms of Dementia

In the beginning, the symptoms of dementia can be subtle and difficult to identify. Many people in the early stages of dementia are in denial and may try to downplay or hide their symptoms from friends and family. Learning to recognize the early signs of dementia can provide insight for medical providers and lead to a faster and more accurate diagnosis.

As the child of an aging parent, you are most likely to have the best understanding of their personality, habits, and routines. Follow your instincts if you recognize unusual behaviors, changes to their mood or appearance, or have a general sense that something is off. Document your observations with dates and times to help present a clear picture to health care providers.

Some of the early symptoms of dementia include the following:

  • Difficulty remembering or recalling words daily
  • Losing track of time or important dates
  • Struggling to manage finances
  • Inability to learn new tasks
  • Forgetting commitments such as dinner plans or appointments
  • Poor decision-making and judgment
  • Repeating themselves
  • Losing interest in previously enjoyed activities

Dementia impacts everyone differently, including how quickly it progresses. Early detection is important because some cases can effectively receive treatment. Further, an early diagnosis can help everyone understand what to expect, manage the condition, and plan appropriate care.

Physical Signs a Parent Has Dementia

Suppose your elderly parent consistently struggles with memory loss, exhibits personality changes, develops new mental health symptoms, or is showing a lack of sound judgment. In that case, they are not experiencing typical signs of aging. Dementia impacts all areas of functioning. Physical signs of dementia can include:

  • Loss of balance and problems with movement
  • Agitation, especially in new or different environments and situations
  • Wandering and getting lost in familiar places
  • Sleep disruptions, including insomnia and sundown syndrome
  • Unhealthy eating habits, including forgetting to eat or drink
  • Incontinence
  • Repetitious movements such as repeatedly turning things on and off

You may also notice that it takes your elderly parent longer to do routine tasks and that they have difficulty speaking, including using unusual terms for everyday objects. Watching an elderly parent develop dementia is frustrating and painful. Patience is crucial. Remember that the person experiencing dementia is likely feeling frustrated, confused, and scared. You can avoid upsetting your loved one by making and documenting your observations discreetly.

Discover High-Quality, Compassionate Dementia Care at Buckner Villas

Watching an elderly parent or other loved one suffer from dementia is distressing. At Buckner Villas, we have decades of experience working with seniors with dementia. Our treatment team includes compassionate licensed caregivers who specialize in memory care. With our continuum of care, your parent can progress from the least invasive treatment to the highest level of care, as needed. Our team is here to support your loved one and your family every step of the way.

At The Harbor memory care center, your parent or loved one will have access to services and amenities such as:

  • Housekeeping and laundry services
  • Restaurant-quality meals
  • Apartment maintenance and repair
  • A 24-hour emergency response team
  • On-staff chaplain and support services
  • Outdoor garden and walking paths
  • Memory enhancement programs
  • Access to multiple social events

At Buckner Villas, we strive to encourage the highest level of independence for all of our residents, including those in The Harbor, our memory care center. Reach out to us at 512.580.9882 to discover all of the benefits of memory care services for your parent or loved one at Buckner Villas.