Many people worry about developing dementia one day. However, experts say there are things you can do to decrease your likelihood of getting dementia by more than 30 percent. In this article, we'll cover some of the easy lifestyle changes you can make to improve your odds of staying healthy.
If you have dementia, you may be wondering what it might mean for your long-term health. Know that it's not the type of disorder that can shorten your life expectancy, but it may make you more susceptible to contracting certain illnesses. We'll talk about that in more detail later on, and we'll share some suggestions to ease your fears and worries.
What Will Cause Death?
For many, dementia is unfathomable. It's scary to think about losing memories and the ability to function normally. If you have been diagnosed with dementia, know someone who has, or are just curious about the subject, you may wonder how a person with dementia dies.
It's possible that you could die from complications of dementia, but you're unlikely to die from the disease itself. For example, dementia could damage your brain over time to the point that you lose the ability to breathe and therefore die. However, for many patients, this is not the case.
Decreasing Your Chances of Getting Dementia
Even though there are around 50 million people worldwide who have dementia, you're not destined to get it. There are billions of people who don't have it and who will never get it.
Research suggests that you may be able to take steps to lessen your risk factors for getting dementia. Here's a look at what you can do to be proactive.
With some diseases, you end up dying not from the disease itself, but from a complication related to the disease. This is true for dementia. Many people with dementia ultimately die from a complication of the disease. These include:
With dementia, it's hard to tell what could shorten your lifespan. The smallest fall and the most harmless infection can become deadly. As said before, dementia itself rarely kills. Instead, it causes complications that can lead to death.
How Long Until Death?
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a form of dementia, you may wonder how long you or they have. There is no definitive answer to this question. The prognosis of dementia will differ depending on the person. Some people may reach the later stages of dementia within a few years. For others, it may take over a decade, sometimes longer, before they reach the final stages. Every case of dementia is unique, so there is no way to know when or how death will occur.
As technology marches on, we're learning how to treat and even cure life-threatening diseases like cancer. Dementia has become a rising threat. As of now, there is no cure, no treatment, and no way to prevent it. It's still a mysterious disease with an unknown cause.
It's a bit of a catch-22 in our society. As we eradicate many diseases, we've started living longer. Nevertheless, as we age, we're more likely to get dementia. Hopefully our society will find effective treatments for this disease.
What Can I Do?
If you have dementia, you can take advantage of alternative medicines recommended by the Mayo Clinic. These include exercise and aromatherapy, where you breathe in essential oils to help you calm down and alleviate stress. These tools may help you stay stronger for longer and will offer stress relief as well.
If you are a caregiver for a dementia patient, you can join groups and message boards, such as the one on the Alzheimer's Association website, to link up with other people going through similar issues. When you connect with others who understand your experience, you can get support and answers to your questions at the same time.
Should I See a Therapist?
Living with dementia or supporting a loved one with dementia can be a terrifying experience. If you've recently been diagnosed with dementia, you may be uncertain about your future. If you're taking care of someone with dementia, your mental health may also be at risk. In both cases, talking to an in-person or online counselor can help.
In therapy, patients with dementia can get motivation to reach their goals before the disease takes over. It can also help these individuals work through their emotions about their diagnosis. For loved ones supporting someone with dementia, therapy will help them balance new demands on their time and process their emotions as well.
BetterHelp is There for People with Dementia and Their Caretakers
Seeing a therapist online cannot only get you through the hard times but it can also fit into your busy schedule. You won't have to drive anywhere, and no one will know you're seeking help if you prefer to keep that private. Consider working with a therapist from BetterHelp to navigate the challenges of dementia. Below are reviews of BetterHelp counselors from people experiencing similar issues.
"I did not feel like a diagnosis or a potential disorder in Lee's mind. I felt like a person with a personality that needed some help in the right direction; he is very helpful and understanding."
"Pamela is in the process of helping through multiple complicated hardships in my life and I always feel very secure opening up to her and knowing she'll have the best tools for me to cope with the day to day issues I face. She talks to me like a friend and I appreciate the reassurance she gives when I'm hesitant about opening up or when I feel like I've shared too much. I came into this feeling as if I was a helpless case and Pamela has made me feel normal and validated. This experience was scary for me to step into but has only been positive since the day I started."
Now that you know more about dementia, you also know how you can mitigate your risk factors for getting dementia. You also know how it may affect you or a loved one should either of you be diagnosed with this disease. It can be a challenging diagnosis, but support is available to you.