The natural process of aging can bring with it conditions such as dementia. Finding the right community and lifestyle for your loved ones during this time is essential to preserve their quality of life going forward.
Vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia. It accounts for up to 40 percent of dementia in older adults.
Let’s take a closer look at vascular dementia, its symptoms, and if it can be reversed.
What Is Vascular Dementia?
Vascular dementia involves problems with reasoning, planning, judgment, memory, and other thought processes caused by impaired blood flow to the brain.
When the blood supply to the brain is restricted, the brain cells are deprived of oxygen and nutrients. This deprivation can cause damage to the area of the brain that’s responsible for learning, memory, and language.
Vascular dementia symptoms can vary and overlap with other types of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Some vascular dementia signs and symptoms include:
- Trouble paying attention and concentrating
- Slowed thinking
- Problems with memory
- Reduced ability to organize thoughts and actions
A stroke can be the most apparent sign of vascular dementia. Depending on the person, the severity of the stroke can cause vascular dementia to develop gradually or suddenly.
Conditions that can lead to vascular dementia include:
- A stroke blocking a brain artery
- A brain hemorrhage
- Narrowed or chronically damaged brain blood vessels
Conditions that damage the brain’s blood vessels and reduce the supply of oxygen and nutrition to the brain can be the main culprit of vascular dementia.
Vascular Dementia Risk Factors
Risk factors for vascular dementia are similar to heart disease and stroke, and they can include:
- Natural aging—the disorder is rare before age 65 and increases as you age.
- High blood pressure—when your blood pressure is too high, it can put extra pressure on blood vessels in your body and brain, increasing the risk of vascular issues.
- History of heart attacks, strokes, or ministrokes—a history of these conditions can result in an increased risk of having blood vessel issues in your brain.
- Diabetes—high glucose levels can damage blood vessels throughout your body and brain.
- Obesity—being overweight is a well-known risk factor for vascular diseases in general.
These are just some of the risk factors, so it’s essential to consider your overall health as you age.
Vascular Dementia Treatment & Reversal
You may be wondering if vascular dementia can be treated and reversed. The answer is no—vascular dementia cannot be reversed.
While there is no cure for vascular dementia, the earlier the brain damage is detected, the better the chances are of slowing the progression of the disease.
Treatment can help slow down vascular dementia and focus on addressing the underlying cause, reducing the speed at which brain cells are lost.
Treatment for vascular dementia comes in the form of prevention that can include:
- Eating a healthier, balanced diet
- Managing your weight if you’re overweight
- Drinking less alcohol
- Staying on top of conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes
If vascular dementia is brought on by a stroke, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy are excellent options to help regain some or all of the lost functions following a stroke.
A vascular dementia diagnosis can be challenging to deal with, and finding a dedicated community to assist your loved one is essential.
A Memory Support Lifestyle
A memory support lifestyle can be an excellent option for your loved ones to enjoy the level of support they deserve.
Your loved one will be able to access services such as:
- Fully furnished apartments
- Engagement for positive cognitive support
- Meaningful activities to stimulate brain functions
- Strengthening activities for walking and balance
- 24-hour onsite personal memory care
The dedicated staff in your loved one’s new community can help ensure your loved ones are happy and comfortable.
Maintaining a High Quality of Life
Vascular dementia can be challenging to manage, and ensuring your loved one has dedicated care to maintain a high quality of life is essential. Understanding vascular dementia is the first step to helping manage the disease.
While the effects of vascular dementia cannot be reversed, managing risk factors can slow the progression of the disease.
Contact a professional team to explore if a memory support lifestyle is a good option for your loved one.