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At What Age Can Dementia Set In?

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An elderly man lost in deep thoughts with his hand on his chin.

Even though we do everything we can to prevent the onset of memory-affecting conditions like dementia, the unfortunate reality is that it can develop in any of us. Whether it’s due to our family history, lifestyle, or other cause, memory impairment is a serious problem affecting many people in the United States. So at what age can dementia set in, and what can you do about it?

There are two different primary varieties of dementia, early-onset and late-onset. In late-onset dementia, symptoms begin developing in a person’s mid-60s. Early-onset dementia, a much rarer variation, is the term used when symptoms develop before age 60. Symptoms of early-onset dementia can develop as early as the age of 30, though that’s in extreme circumstances—they typically develop between the age of 40-50.

With all kinds of memory care communities becoming more and more popular, people with memory-affecting conditions like dementia are able to have a high quality of life and receive the care they need. If you or a loved one are in need of a memory care community, reach out to us here at Yorkshire of Edina Senior Living, or schedule a tour today!

What Is Dementia?

Dementia by itself is not a condition that can be described as one-size-fits-all. It’s best described as a name applied to many different memory-affecting conditions. Though terms like “Alzheimer’s” and “dementia” may be used interchangeably due to their symptoms, they’re different—Alzheimer’s is a specific condition, while dementia encompasses many different memory-affecting conditions.

These conditions all affect a person’s cognitive ability, memory, and communication abilities, causing difficulty in day-to-day life. Symptoms typically develop after age 60 but, in some cases, can develop earlier. Oftentimes, a person struggling with dementia needs a special level of care to accommodate the symptoms of the condition.

Side effects of dementia include:

  • Mood or personality changes
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty communicating
  • Confusion 
  • Balance or walking problems
  • Hallucinations or paranoia
  • Difficulty with daily tasks

Though we still don’t know the cause, family history and lifestyle play an important part in how likely a person is to begin developing symptoms of dementia.

Three elderly men sitting next to each other at a table playing a game of chess in a senior living facility.

Is It Possible to Prevent Dementia?

There, unfortunately, is no guaranteed way to avoid the development of dementia. However, there are steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of developing this condition. 

One of the most important ways to prevent the development of dementia is to challenge your brain as you get older. By learning new things, practicing puzzles or brain games, and challenging yourself mentally, you can reduce the chance of developing a memory-affecting condition in your later years. Since the brain is a muscle in itself, it’s always an excellent idea to flex it in different ways. 

Physical health also plays a part. A healthy diet and regular exercise are important factors in taking care of yourself in so many different ways, and when it comes to preventing the development of something like dementia, it’s no exception. Regular exercise directly improves blood flow and cardiovascular health as well, which have both been linked to helping lower the risk of developing dementia

It’s also been found that socializing and building connections with the people around you can help prevent the development of a memory-affecting condition. Due to the nature of socializing (listening to others or instructions, retaining information, verbally communicating, etc.), it helps the brain build muscle and stay healthy.

What to Do if a Loved One Shows Symptoms of Dementia

If you or a loved one begin to show symptoms of dementia, your first step should be to visit a doctor. They’ll examine your medical history and your family history, and then begin a small series of tests to determine whether or not dementia is developing.

Fortunately, there are many options available for treating dementia, like memory care communities. These communities give their residents the opportunity to have the best quality of life possible while being surrounded by a well-trained team of staff. The team on-site is trained to assist with the difficulties dementia may cause a person in their day-to-day life and help the residents with whatever they need.

We’re Here for You

Memory care communities are an excellent way to make sure that a person struggling with dementia is surrounded by caring individuals who can help with resident needs. If you or a loved one are in need of a memory care community, schedule a tour with us here at Yorkshire of Edina Senior Living today or contact us for more information!

Written by Lifespark

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