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Dementia

All You Need To Know About Mixed Dementia

Senior Healthcare Provider Comforting Patient

Mixed dementia is a condition in which a person has more than one type of dementia. This is possible because different types of dementia can have different causes. The most common type of mixed dementia is when the abnormal protein deposits associated with Alzheimer’s coexist with blood vessel problems linked to vascular dementia. Other combinations of dementias are also possible, particularly, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies.

Causes and symptoms

Symptoms of mixed dementia vary depending on the types of dementia a person has. Oftentimes someone will have a greater amount of one type of dementia than another. Because several factors are involved, researchers are unable to clearly identify the true symptoms of mixed dementia. This means that your loved one may show symptoms of Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia or another type of dementia. Scientists are still unsure of what exactly causes dementia, but they often relate it to changes in the brain associated with aging.

 

How is mixed dementia diagnosed?

Because of its nature, mixed dementia is very difficult to diagnose. One major problem experts face is measuring the dementia-related brain changes in individuals who are alive. At the moment, doctors perform autopsies of the brain to find the link between a person’s cognitive health and problems they were diagnosed with during their lifetime. Most individuals whose autopsies show they had mixed dementia were diagnosed with one specific type of dementia during life, most commonly Alzheimer’s disease. Many researchers believe that by increasing our understanding of mixed dementia, coupled with recognizing that vascular changes are the most common coexisting brain change, we may reduce the number of people who develop dementia.

Treatment

Because most people with mixed dementia are diagnosed with a single type of dementia, physicians often base their prescribing decisions on the type of dementia that’s been diagnosed. Currently, no drugs are specifically approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat mixed dementia. In situations where Alzheimer’s disease is considered to be among the conditions contributing to a person’s dementia symptoms, medications intended for its treatment may be prescribed.

How can in-home dementia care help?

Although mixed dementia is difficult to diagnose, if your loved one has even just one type of dementia, they’ll likely require a certain level of care. In-home care can be very beneficial as it allows them to stay in the comfort of their own home, surrounded by family, friends and old neighbors. However, as dementia is a very complex disease, caregiving can be a very overwhelming responsibility. This is why the help of a professional in-home caregiver can be very beneficial. They can not only be a compassionate companion to your loved one but can also help with caregiving tasks such as enforcing a daily routine, encouraging exercise, assisting with personal hygiene, creating a balanced diet, running errands and making doctor’s appointments, as well as perform light housekeeping tasks. By doing all of this, they can take so much weight off your shoulders.

 

Give your loved one a chance to lead their best life with Embrace

At Open Arms, we have a one-of-a-kind memory care program called Embrace, which enables your loved one to live at home while staying safe and leading an engaging life. While most care programs do not provide the training and support that allow seniors with dementia to thrive in this stage of their life, our Dementia & Alzheimer’s Memory Care program includes all basic personal care assistance with additional design and training focused on building a holistic, meaningful experience through engagement-based care. We look at the whole client and their whole life in order to provide the best possible care uniquely for them. Each member of our team is prepared, informed and supported, and our program incorporates the latest and most innovative research on memory care, dementia care models, program leadership and caregiver training. Learn more about Embrace here.

If you think it’s time to start thinking about in-home care for your loved one, begin with our short and simple quiz that assesses six key areas to help you decide on the best possible care for them. If you have any questions or concerns about dementia, we’re always happy to help.

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