How Dementia Affects the Body

Did you know that approximately 5 million people aged 65 and above were reported to have dementia in 2014? According to estimates, that number is predicted to rise and reach around 14 million by 2060. Dementia is a neurological condition that affects the body in various ways. Understanding how dementia affects the body is important for providing better care to those with this condition.


What You Need to Know


Dementia is an umbrella term for different kinds of illnesses. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. This debilitating condition usually affects older people. But it should not be seen as a natural part of the aging process.

Dementia is a broad term, resulting in various symptoms that differ from person to person. Those struggling with dementia may experience memory, attention, and visual perception issues. It may also affect a person’s communication, reasoning, and problem-solving skills.

Some common signs suggest the onset of dementia is getting lost in a familiar place. A person with this condition may also start using unfamiliar words to refer to common objects. They may also need help remembering close family or friends’ names. Another sign is struggling to recall old memories.


How Later-Stage Dementia Impacts Physical Health


As dementia advances, physical changes can be observed, including:

  • Mobility Issues. As dementia progresses, physical effects can become more pronounced. This includes decreased mobility and loss of strength and balance. These can make it difficult for patients to navigate and perform certain tasks. Such mobility issues may be caused by their vision problems, impaired balance, and dementia medication. It may also be due to uncomfortable surroundings and other health conditions, such as stroke.

  • Infections. With reduced mobility, a dementia patient may be more prone to infections and blood clots. You must ensure they are supported and encouraged to move around while they still can. For example, assist when they’re taking a walk or indulge them in chair-based exercises. It’s best to consult an occupational or physical therapist for guidance and advice on equipment and adaptations. Alternatively, a general practitioner or community nurse can provide information on supporting someone with mobility issues without causing harm to themselves.

  • Pain. When a person is affected by advanced dementia, they may still experience pain. However, they may be unable to communicate it effectively. Instead, they might start to act differently than usual to express their discomfort. Unfortunately, those in the later stages of their lives are often deprived of adequate pain relief. Dementia patients can often experience discomfort due to a variety of causes. Common examples are urinary tract infections, constipation, and arthritic pain. If your loved one is struggling with physical pain, it’s best to consult a GP regarding medication. Other non-drug remedies like chiropractic care may also be a great idea, depending on the root cause of the pain.

Seeing a loved one battle with dementia can be a difficult experience. Fortunately, chiropractic care offers some hope for a better, more comfortable life. Get in touch with our experienced team today at Thorburn Chiropractic & Wellness Center in Burbank, California. Call us now at (818) 600-9020 to schedule a consultation.

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