It is estimated that more than 50 million people around the world suffer from dementia. Approximately 5.7 million of those individuals live in the United States.
A common misconception about this disease is that it only affects seniors, and this is simply not the case. There are over 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 who currently suffer from younger-onset dementia.
If you have received this diagnosis, or have a loved one with dementia, you may wonder how it is going to impact your life. This is a common question. Keep reading to learn about the effects of dementia on day to day life, here.
ADLs are activities of daily living. They are tasks that most people take for granted – brushing your hair, getting dressed, remembering to turn off the stove. As dementia progresses, the ability to perform these tasks is going to become more and more challenging.
Some of the specific ways dementia effects ADLs can be found here.
In some cases, a person with dementia may forget to handle the task at hand, or even how to do it. For example, they may forget to put on clean clothes in the morning. They could also forget to feed their pet or close the front door after being outside.
It’s difficult for those with dementia to remember all the steps involved with washing their hair or getting dressed. It isn’t uncommon for these individuals to put on their clothing in the wrong order, such as a bra over a shirt.
Organizing, planning and sequencing a multi-step activity can be extremely challenging.
In addition to not remembering to do things, or forgetting how to do them, dementia can also affect visual perception. This can make it difficult for those with dementia to tell where their toothbrush is on the counter. It may even make it hard to tell what container the toilet is.
This makes ADLs even more challenging, as they can’t find the tools needed to handle basic tasks.
As dementia progresses, a person’s judgment may also be impacted, which can also impact ADLs. For example, in the middle of a snowstorm, an individual may go outside without a jacket or pants, thinking they are unnecessary.
The ability someone with dementia has to complete an activity, such as a shower or bath, may be altered. This is especially true if the individual feels tired, are in pain, or if there are distractions nearby.
There are many situations when someone with dementia will no longer be able to live on their own. If this time arrives, it’s best to look into professional care services.
By doing so, your loved one will have the care and attention needed to help them as dementia progresses.
As you can see, the effects of dementia can be extreme. It’s also important to understand that each person suffering from this condition is going to be affected differently.
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