When it comes to long-term care or short-term Respite Care, there are many Dementia myths that can hinder the support opportunities people living with Memory Loss need. 

Learning the truths about dementia can diminish the stigma associated with the condition. Keep reading for 12 Dementia myths debunked. 

Myth #1: Dementia Is a Disease

Dementia is actually a collection of symptoms that affect the functioning of the brain. From communication issues, language difficulties, and memory problems, dementia can have an adverse effect on daily living activities. 

Myth #2: Only Older Adults Develop Dementia

As a progressive degenerative brain condition, dementia is more commonly seen in those over the age of 65; however, men and women as young as 30 have been diagnosed with the degenerative condition. 

Myth #3: If Someone in Your Family Has Dementia, It Means You Will Get It as Well

While there are forms of dementia that hold a genetic factor, there is no scientific proof that every generation of a person with dementia will also have symptoms. 

Myth #4: Dementia Is a Mental Illness

Dementia affects brain function, but it is not classified as a mental illness. This myth may exist due to the fact that dementia is a condition of the brain, affecting some people’s ability to think, speak, and function. 

Myth #5: Dementia Isn’t Treatable

While there is no cure for dementia, there are treatment methods available to help with various symptoms. These forms of therapy can include lifestyle coping strategies and prescribed medication. 

Myth #6: Dementia and Alzheimer’s Are the Same

Dementia is a general term used to describe a group of symptoms associated with a decline in cognitive functioning. Alzheimer’s Disease is a specific disease that is diagnosed by a healthcare professional. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. 

Myth #7: Dementia Is Always Preventable

Unfortunately, dementia is not preventable. Research suggests there are several factors that increase the risk for the development of the condition. These can include (but are not limited to) hypertension, obesity, smoking, diabetes, brain trauma, and excessive alcohol consumption. 

Myth #8: Vitamins and Supplements Can Prevent Dementia

As stated, there is no one magic treatment to prevent dementia. It is vital to support a healthy brain and body by having sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals, whether that’s via supplemental means or natural, regardless of signs of dementia. 

Myth #9: People with Dementia Can’t Remember Anything

Types of dementia symptoms can impede the ability to remember details of recent and past events; however, not all memories are robbed. In most cases, the later stages of dementia can cause memories to fade progressively. Each person’s ability to maintain memories varies from one person to another. 

Myth #10: Dementia Is a Natural Part of Aging

Dementia is NOT a normal part of aging. Although we all may experience some memory recall challenges from time to time. Dementia is a loss of cognitive functioning that interferes with quality of life and activities. 

The biggest risk factor for dementia is age—the older you are the more likely you are to develop the condition, but it is not an inevitable part of ageing. About two in 100 people aged between 65 to 69 have dementia, and this figure rises to one in five for those aged between 85 to 89.

Myth #11: People with Dementia Are Violent

It is important to understand that not every person living with dementia becomes violent. Various forms of dementia are known to see changes in the behaviour, and personality of some people, depending on the areas of the brain affected. The frustration of continuously being confused, fear, changes to rationalization and reasoning abilities and the inability to communicate physical or emotional needs can see some people lash out in anger. It is best to educate caregivers on communicating with a person living with dementia to help decrease the risk of violence and aggression.     

Myth #12:  Forgetfulness Is the Only Early Sign of Dementia

As with most medical conditions, there is not one early sign to indicate a particular illness, disease, or affliction. Dementia is associated with forgetfulness as it is a common symptom of most forms of Dementia. If a person’s daily living is being affected by Memory Loss, it is important to discuss this with a physician. 

Talk to the Experts at Memory & Company

Memory & Company offers short-term and long-term Respite Care and Memory Care for people living with Dementia by offering varying levels care, programs and therapies. Our Team Members are highly trained and certified in the caring of those living with a form of Memory Loss. 

We invite you to visit our Markham or Oakville location to see how we provide support for those living with Dementia, their Care Partner(s), and families. Email us at info@memoryandcompany.com, call (905) 888-8808, or fill out this form to discuss how we can help you!