Many elderly adults suffer from frontotemporal dementia. It is a disease that affects a person’s personality and ability to live a full, happy life. If you’re an elder care provider or family caregiver, it is important to learn all you can about this disease. If you do that, you can properly care for your elderly loved one if they have this type of disease.
Defining Frontotemporal Dementia
Frontotemporal dementia affects the parts of a person’s brain that controls their language, personality, and behavior. These parts of the brain are known as the temporal and frontal lobes of the brain. They can sometimes become damaged or shrink and cause major problems.
Frontotemporal dementia is different than Alzheimer’s. It affects a different part of a person’s brain. In addition, a person might not have the same early-onset symptoms that they would in other forms of dementia. There are three important stages of frontotemporal dementia. These include the following:
-Mild Behavioral Variant – Many people in this stage tend to stop feeling sympathy towards others. They also find it difficult to stay organized and could start overeating.
-Moderate Behavioral Variant- Some people in this stage will become compulsive cleaners. Some people will start collecting particular items. In most cases, the symptoms during this stage will stay with someone for the first couple of years and worsen over time.
-Severe Behavioral Variant – During this stage, symptoms can become severe. A person will most likely lose their memory and experience language issues.
It is important to understand that every person is different. Your elderly loved one might be in one stage longer than other people. You should speak to your elderly loved one’s medical team if you would like more information regarding the stages of frontotemporal dementia.
There are some signs that you can look for to help determine if your elderly loved one might be suffering from frontotemporal dementia. Some of these include the following:
-Loss of empathy
-Loss of inhibition
-Trouble with speech
-Difficulties with balance
-Compulsive behavior issues
-Acting in an inappropriate manner
If you notice any of these symptoms in your elderly loved one, it might be best to speak with their doctor, so they can help you figure out what is going on with your loved one.
It is important to remember that this disease can affect everyone in a different way. However, in most cases, the life expectancy is usually about 6 to 8 years from when a person first started experiencing symptoms.
Frontotemporal dementia affects many elderly adults. It can be difficult caring for someone with this disease. Don’t feel bad if you need to ask for help from other family members, friends, or elder care providers.