Loss of mental acuity among the elderly, known as dementia, can have different symptoms and different causes. The elderly may experience difficulty in performing everyday tasks, feel disoriented and confused, suffer from recent memory loss, show poor judgment and loss of initiative, misplace things, or experience changes in mood, personality, and behavior. Home healthcare in Illinois is the best option for the elderly who are suffering from mild dementia since they can feel the safest and most secure in the familiar surroundings of their own homes.
Some type of dementia exists in 5% of people over the age of 65; and in 20% of people over the age of 80. Alzheimer’s disease causes 60% of the cases of progressive dementia; another 20% is the result of strokes (cerebrovascular dementia); and 20% is the result of other neurological disorders, such as Huntington’s disease or Parkinson’s disease. However, there are also types of dementia which are reversible, therefore it is necessary for anyone showing the symptoms of dementia to have a complete medical examination at an Illinois healthcare clinic in order to determine the cause – and possible cure – of his or her ailment.
Severe and irreversible dementia is usually the result of Alzheimer’s disease, which afflicts 4,000,000 Americans. This is a progressive illness which destroys nerve cells in the brain, resulting in loss of memory, ability to think, and everyday functioning. More women than men are afflicted with Alzheimer’s, and there seems to be a genetic disposition to it. In the early stages of Alzheimer’s the short term memory decreases so that the person is unable to learn new things; speech may become impaired so that the person confuses words; personal hygiene and judgment may suffer; and there may be changes in the personality with exaggerated or unpredictable responses. As the disease progresses short term memory disappears so the person tends to repeat the same actions or stories over and over; the person is overwhelmed by everyday tasks so that supervision is required; sleep cycles change; and problems in the behavior with mood swings and aggression and hostility become more frequent. In the latter stages of the disease the person requires help in eating, bathing, and going to the toilet; the person may suffer from delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, seizures and general confusion. As well as facilities in the city of Chicago itself, there are Chicago south suburbs healthcare clinics which can be of great assistance in diagnosing and treating Alzheimer’s, as well as helping family members to adjust themselves to helping the elderly patient.