How Can a Stroke Impact Dementia in an Older Adult?

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Research has shown strokes and dementia can be closely intertwined, and there’s actually a type of dementia caused by these cardiovascular events. Studies have also revealed strokes typically have a huge impact on the progression of dementia and its symptoms. Here’s a quick glimpse at the connection between these two conditions and some steps caregivers can take to address their loved ones’ dementia symptoms after strokes occur.

Understanding Strokes & Dementia

Many people are surprised to learn dementia is a medical term used to describe a cluster of symptoms. There are quite a few different kinds of dementia, and symptoms can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from genetics to acute brain damage. A stroke, on the other hand, occurs when the blood supply to the brain abruptly stops. That type of cardiovascular event is often the result of a blood clot or a ruptured vessel.

Vascular Dementia

Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia, but vascular dementia is very pervasive as well. Currently, experts believe around 10 percent of all dementia cases are vascular dementia. This particular condition occurs when the brain becomes damaged because its blood supply is interrupted for a time. The symptoms of vascular dementia include long-term memory loss, difficulty creating new memories, poor balance, personality changes, confusion, and paralysis on one side of the body or face.

A trained caregiver with experience in caring for seniors with dementia can be a fantastic resource for family members. Families looking for top-rated Scottsdale Home Care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

Strokes & Dementia Symptoms

If someone already has dementia and then a stroke occurs, the symptoms will almost always become much worse. Even an extremely short interruption of blood flow to the brain can cause a tremendous amount of damage, and you might notice your loved one’s symptoms intensify overnight. Your loved one could suddenly forget how to carry out everyday tasks or even find it very difficult to move around independently. Other seniors with dementia have huge changes in their personalities after strokes.

Addressing the Worsened Symptoms

Immediately following a stroke, your loved one will need to meet with a variety of medical specialists to come up with a long-term treatment and recovery plan. Your loved one’s medical team will most likely include a neurologist, a speech pathologist, and an occupational therapist. These specialists can give you tips on how to address your loved one’s symptoms at home. Their advice will probably include lifestyle changes such as following a strict daily routine, sticking to a healthy diet, and engaging in daily at-home therapy. You will also need to install safety devices throughout your loved one’s home.

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Preventing Further Cardiovascular Problems

After having a stroke, there’s a very good chance your parent will have a second stroke or other serious cardiovascular problems in the coming years. To prevent those secondary complications, you must keep your loved one as healthy and active as possible. Following a strict diet, being active for a few minutes every day, and quitting smoking are all imperative for maintaining your loved one’s health. You should also make sure your loved one takes any medications prescribed by his or her medical team. 

Even when families have the best intentions, caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging. Fortunately, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a leading provider of dementia care. Scottsdale families can take advantage of our flexible and customizable care plans, and our caregivers always stay up to date on the latest developments in senior care. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today at (480) 771-2710 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.

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