Care for a loved one with dementia is challenging and requires close monitoring of their symptoms. It’s essential to take note of changes in behavior so that you can be prepared to act accordingly. Earlier detection provides outcomes to the best care possible.
Several tools are available to help monitor your loved one’s condition. Let’s discuss options for dementia care in Bellingham and the assessment tools available for early detection.
Dementia Care in Bellingham, WA
At Cordata Court, we’re privileged to offer a specialized program revolutionizing memory care. The innovative Connections Program was inspired by Dr. Sandra Petersen’s experience and recovery from a stroke.
Our signature memory care program employs neuroplasticity treatments. We involve emotion, physical movement, and continued learning opportunities to slow memory loss. Our data-driven approach provides a structure for those living with dementia. It works to build new neural pathways in the brain.
The dementia care experts at Cordata Court provide an environment of security blended with comfort. We tailor experiences to individual needs while upholding residents’ dignity throughout their treatment journey.
Connections memory care assists with daily living activities and offers residents resort-style amenities. We offer a mix of health care, hospitality, and meaningful interaction.
Earlier detection of Alzheimer’s and dementia can lead to better outcomes. Our program is helping Bellingham families during this process.
Early Detection of Alzheimer’s and Dementia: Why It Matters
When it comes to Alzheimer’s and dementia, early detection can make all the difference. Knowing what to expect and planning for the future can help prepare you and your loved one for what lies ahead.
Many people don’t realize that there is an intermediate stage between normal aging and full-blown dementia: Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Let’s take a closer look at MCI and why it matters.
What is MCI?
Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) describes a condition in which someone has more difficulties with memory than expected for someone their age but not enough problems to be diagnosed with dementia. There are two types of MCI: amnestic (memory-related) and non-amnestic (non-memory-related).
Although MCI does not always lead to dementia, studies have shown that those who experience MCI are at a higher risk for developing Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia in the future. The Alzheimer’s Association says, “one-third of people with MCI due to Alzheimer’s disease develop dementia within five years of diagnosis.”
Why is early detection important?
Early detection is critical when it comes to preparing for the future. Identifying if someone is experiencing MCI means that they can be assessed by a physician and receive support services before their symptoms become more severe.
Family members can begin understanding the changes that will happen to their loved one. They can start doing research and planning.
Knowing how Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia might affect your loved one will allow you to plan accordingly. Necessary support services can begin before memory loss worsens.
There is time to adjust emotionally and not be caught off guard by sudden changes or behaviors. Being prepared for these circumstances will make it easier for everyone involved in the long run.
Early detection allows individuals time to create legal documents such as wills or advanced healthcare directives while they still have cognitive abilities.
Having an understanding of what lies ahead can be invaluable in terms of managing stress and anxiety for everyone involved.
Dementia Assessment Tools and At-Home Screening
Understandably, adult children may need extra support when caring for a parent with dementia. Several screening tools have been developed to help monitor the progression of dementia at home.
These tests can give family caregivers an idea of how their loved ones are doing. Some are meant to be used at home, while a doctor should perform others.
Discover some of the most popular assessment tests below.
Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam (SAGE)
Dr. Sandra Petersen recently reviewed the SAGE test. It is not a concrete measure of dementia, but it does help spread awareness of the development of memory loss. This sort of test expedites meeting with a doctor for a full assessment.
The Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE)
This test helps physicians diagnose dementia based on memory recall skills such as:
- Time and place orientation
- Language comprehension
- Attention span
- Ability to name objects
The Clock Test
This test assesses visual memory by showing patients a clock face with hands drawn at random times. After a few minutes, patients must draw the same clock face from memory as accurately as possible.
The purpose of the test is to track cognitive abilities. It is beneficial for the detection of early-stage dementia.
The Memory Impairment Screen (MIS)
This tool is designed specifically for use by family members or caregivers. It’s easy enough to administer at home and includes questions about recent events that measure short-term memory recall and learning ability over time.
The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA)
This is another test to be performed by a doctor. The MoCA measures cognition by assessing multiple areas, including:
- Language comprehension
- Naming skills
- Delayed recall
- Memory span tasks
- Executive functioning tasks such as mental flexibility and abstraction
MoCA results can be used to identify milder cases of cognitive decline which may otherwise go undetected with other tests used alone due to its broad coverage across multiple areas of cognitive functioning.
Cordata Court is a Dementia Care Resource in Bellingham, Washington
Taking care of loved ones becomes less daunting with the correct preparation and information. Contact our memory care specialists to talk about dementia screening and care. Receive better outcomes by planning for the future now.