What Are the Physical Effects of Dementia on Aging Adults?

Memory loss is the top symptom associated with dementia, but this condition can also harm a senior’s physical abilities. The physical limitations can vary from senior to senior, ranging from slow movements to vision or hearing loss. Continue reading to learn more about how dementia can affect seniors physically.

Sleep Disorders

Sleep plays a vital role in a senior’s physical health, which is why your aging loved one should get plenty of rest. Dementia can impact sleep, preventing the body from healing and repairing the heart and blood vessels at night. As a result, your loved one may be at a higher risk of developing heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and other physical health conditions. When the brain begins to deteriorate due to dementia, your parent may experience less deep sleep time and stay awake for more hours throughout the night. He or she might also have difficulty falling asleep because of the neurodegenerative condition.

Loss of Balance

Loss of balance can impact seniors at various stages of dementia, including the early stages. Seniors may experience fatigue, and their medications may also cause dizziness that leads to balance issues. Older adults are more likely to fall and experience head traumas due to loss of balance and other health issues. Find ways to slow the progression of dementia or alleviate the symptoms associated with the condition. Exercising and eating healthy can increase balance, especially in the late stages of dementia. Encourage your loved one to remain active by choosing physical activities he or she enjoys, as opposed to things that are difficult to complete. 

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers. Fortunately, there is elderly home care La Mesa families can trust. Our professional caregivers help aging adults with dementia stay safe and comfortable at home by assisting with household chores, preventing wandering, and providing cognitive stimulation.

Increased Risk of Blindness

Dementia can affect parts of the brain that handle the visual information coming from the eyes. When this happens, your loved one may experience blurred vision. The medications used to treat dementia can also increase the risk of other health conditions, such as hallucinations, hearing loss, and vision impairment. In some cases, seniors experience permanent vision loss due to dementia. Monitor your loved one’s medications to ensure his or her vision isn’t being affected. If it is, speak with his or her doctor immediately about alternative treatments.

Stiff Muscles

One of the first symptoms of dementia is muscle weakness, which is caused by the impaired flow of blood to the brain that prevents it from functioning normally. When arteries narrow or are blocked completely, the joints can become stiff, leading to aches and pains. It might be difficult for your loved one to get comfortable while lying down or sitting on the couch. The discomfort could increase the amount of stress he or she is under and indirectly cause other health issues. Help your loved one control his or her blood and cholesterol levels, which can be done by following a healthy diet, managing stress, and living a socially and physically active life despite having dementia.

For dementia home care La Mesa families can count on, reach out to Coast Care Partners. Our compassionate caregivers help seniors slow the progression of dementia, and they can also assist with a wide variety of important daily tasks, including cooking, exercising, bathing, and grooming. Call one of our friendly representatives today at 619-354-2544.