5 Health Conditions with Dementia-Like Symptoms

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Dementia is a medical condition characterized by a loss of memory and cognitive skills. However, seniors don’t necessarily have dementia just because they misplace their car keys or forget the names of old acquaintances. Dementia is a complex disorder that can share some similarities with other medical issues. The symptoms of these five health conditions are frequently mistaken for dementia.

1. Urinary Tract Infections

Seniors commonly get urinary tract infections (UTIs) because their immune systems are weakened. At first, a UTI just causes discomfort while urinating, but if the infection spreads up the urethra and reaches the bladder and kidneys, it can cause dementia-like symptoms. Seniors may get very sleepy, seem extremely confused, or have sudden bouts of anger and sadness. Clearing up a urinary tract infection is a relatively simple treatment that requires taking a course of antibiotics. 

Antibiotics often have side effects that can affect a senior’s ability to carry out routine tasks. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable elderly home care. Families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.

2. Thyroid Disease

Thyroid hormones are responsible for managing metabolism and helping the body work well. Seniors who have underactive or overactive thyroid glands may have difficulty remembering things, learning new skills, thinking quickly, or focusing. Other symptoms may include a sudden change in weight, sensitivity to certain temperatures, hair loss, or an irregular heartbeat. Although it can take a while to diagnose thyroid issues, these symptoms usually clear up after taking medications or having surgery to balance out thyroid levels.

3. Lyme Disease

Any senior who has gotten a tick bite in the past few decades may be infected with Lyme disease. These bacteria can live in the body undetected for years and gradually damage the nervous system. Lyme disease tends to make a person feel tired and have cloudy thinking, but antibiotics can reverse or halt the disease’s progression.

4. Depression

Seniors have a higher risk of depression than younger people, and it sometimes gets mistakenly diagnosed as dementia. Depression can cause people to avoid spending time with friends, exhibit changes in personality, or have difficulty making decisions. Some people with depression can even end up with memory issues due to extreme insomnia or trauma. Though it shares some similarities with dementia, depression isn’t as likely to be progressive and irreversible. It can often be managed by finding the right balance of medication and therapy. 

Older adults who aren’t able to get out on their own to socialize with friends and family members can become depressed. For families living in Garland, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.

5. Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia often occurs in seniors with diabetes. This condition is characterized by very low blood sugar, and it usually happens if a senior takes insulin without eating the right foods. Seniors who are having hypoglycemic episodes may act bizarrely or seem confused because their brains aren’t getting enough glucose to work correctly. Mild cases of hypoglycemia can be treated by eating candy or a spoonful of sugar, but in more severe cases, it’s a life-threatening condition that requires emergency medical treatment.

Older adults are vulnerable to dementia and several other conditions that can affect their quality of life, which is why they should take the necessary steps to maintain their overall health. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional homecare. Garland, TX, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (469) 573-4213 today.

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