Does Dementia Worsen After a Stroke?

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Families of seniors with dementia often worry about what will happen if their loved ones have strokes. The brain needs adequate blood flow for optimal cognitive function. After having strokes, some people develop dementia for the first time, and the effects can be even more noticeable in people who already have dementia. Knowing why dementia worsens after a stroke can help you protect your aging loved one’s cognitive abilities. 


How Strokes Affect the Brain

A stroke occurs when something happens within the brain that cuts off blood flow. Blood clots are a common cause of strokes. A stroke can also happen if a blood vessel ruptures and begins to leak blood into the surrounding tissues. In both cases, the ability of the brain to function normally stops. 


Things that Affect the Severity of a Stroke

Science has still not been able to isolate a single reason some people fare worse than others after strokes. The current focus is on reducing the number of factors that influence how much a stroke affects the brain. For example, seniors who receive prompt medical attention do better. Certain medications can break up blood clots so seniors can have better outcomes. 


Why Dementia Worsens

Dementia can have several different causes, and most tend to already involve some type of damage to the brain. Another injury to the brain can exacerbate the symptoms seniors with dementia already experience. This is especially pronounced when the stroke affects the part of the brain responsible for the dementia symptoms. For instance, your loved one may begin to have more difficulty with memory or the ability to use certain parts of the body.

A professional caregiver trained in dementia and stroke care can be a fantastic source of support for you and your loved one. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of home care Pearland families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.


How to Prevent Worsening Symptoms

The single most important thing you can do to prevent your loved one’s dementia from getting worse is to take steps to help your loved one avoid having another stroke. With each stroke, the brain sustains more damage. Before your loved one gets home from the hospital, make sure he or she has the appropriate level of care needed to do things such as take medications on time. Your loved one may also need someone present in the home to watch for signs of another stroke so he or she receives medical treatment as soon as possible. 

Caring for senior loved ones can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care for the help they need. We provide high-quality in-home care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.


How to Plan for the Future

Recovering from a stroke takes time, and your loved one should see a gradual increase in his or her abilities, but that could take many months. For now, your loved one needs to have assistance with his or her daily routine. Seniors with worsening dementia symptoms after strokes may even need constant care that includes having multiple people provide assistance. Home caregivers can help with preparing nutritious meals, providing medication reminders, and taking your loved one to therapy appointments so he or she continues to make progress in recovery. Even when families have the best intentions, caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging. Fortunately, Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help. We are a leading provider of dementia care. Pearland families can take advantage of our flexible and customizable care plans, and our caregivers always stay up to date on the latest developments in senior care. Call one of our friendly Care Managers to learn about ways our experienced caregivers can help your loved one.