5 Common Causes of Early-Onset Dementia in Older Adults

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Dementia more commonly develops around age 80, but early-onset dementia can occur when people in their 50s, 60s, or even younger. It is normally associated with a few specific causes, such as certain health conditions or brain damage. Knowing the following causes of early-onset dementia can help your senior loved one make the lifestyle changes he or she needs to lower the risk.

1. Cardiovascular Issues

If there is an issue with blood supply to the brain, a person may develop dementia early on. For example, a stroke, heart attack, or heart disease can lead to dementia. Roughly 15 percent of cases of early-onset dementia are due to vascular conditions. Your loved one can greatly lower the risk of vascular dementia by keeping his or her blood pressure and cholesterol at healthy levels. To maintain a healthy heart, your loved one may need to exercise more, lose weight, eat more fiber, or talk to the doctor about medications.

Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust in West Hartford, CT, home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

2. Genetics

There is some evidence linking certain types of early-onset dementia to genetics. People are far more likely to develop dementia in their 30s, 40s, or 50s if they have genetic mutations in a few specific genes. Only about 500 family groups in the world have these genes.

3. Physical Damage

Damage to the brain from a fall or other accident can cause dementia to occur much earlier than expected. This is called frontotemporal dementia because it occurs when the frontal lobes are severely damaged. Your loved one should try light strength training, balance, and flexibility exercises to prevent falls that could harm the brain. 

If your loved one requires help maintaining a regular exercise routine or assistance with general mobility, consider hiring a professional caregiver. In West Hartford, CT, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

4. Alcoholism

Excessive drinking can damage the brain enough to bring on dementia at a younger age. People who drink heavily are particularly at risk for getting Korsakoff syndrome, a type of dementia caused by severe vitamin B-1 deficiencies that typically occur among alcoholics with poor dietary habits. Fortunately, this type of dementia can sometimes be slowed, stopped, or even reversed as long as the person stops drinking alcohol and gets proper treatment.

5. Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a significant risk factor for early-onset dementia because excessive levels of blood glucose lead to decreased healing and high blood pressure. Over time, this can gradually cause damage to the cells in the brain because they are not getting enough nutrients to function. If your loved one has diabetes, it is important he or she takes prescribed medications when recommended. People can also reduce their risk of getting diabetes with regular physical activity and a healthy diet.

A dementia diagnosis can be difficult for seniors and their families to face. If you need help caring for your aging loved one while he or she manages the challenges of dementia, turn to Home Care Assistance of West Hartford. Dementia care isn’t the only thing we specialize in. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are also trained to assist seniors during stroke recovery and help those living with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s maintain a higher quality of life. If your loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs professional in-home care, call us at (860) 372.4500 today.

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