Alcohol-induced dementia is an increasingly common form of cognitive impairment, primarily affecting seniors with alcoholism. Here is what you need to know about the connection between alcohol abuse and dementia.
Causes of Alcohol-Induced Dementia
There are many reasons seniors who consume too much alcohol are prone to cognitive impairment. When consumed excessively, alcohol can damage the nerve cells and cause chemical alterations in the brain. Alcohol abuse also goes hand in hand with poor nutrition. Excessive alcohol consumption inhibits the body’s ability to store and process thiamine, an important nutrient that enhances cognitive function. Because alcohol irritates the stomach lining, it can also affect the absorption of other important nutrients necessary for healthy cognitive function.
Caring for a senior loved one with alcohol-induced dementia can be a difficult task. Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Las Vegas home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
One common form of alcohol-induced dementia is known as Korsakoff syndrome, which usually develops as a result of low thiamine levels. Excessive alcohol consumption can lower the body’s supply of thiamine, which makes seniors susceptible to dementia.
Korsakoff syndrome is closely related to Wernicke’s encephalopathy, a brain disorder that occurs due to alcohol withdrawal. Symptoms include disorientation, poor nutrition, impaired balance, and jerky movements. When Wernicke’s encephalopathy goes untreated, it leads to Korsakoff syndrome, which has a lasting impact on brain function. The disease impairs the areas of the brain that control short-term memory.
Consider hiring a professional caregiver if your senior loved one needs help managing the symptoms of alcohol-induced dementia. Families looking to hire a Las Vegas elderly caregiver can reach out to Home Care Assistance. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers receive extensive ongoing training to ensure they provide the high-quality in-home care seniors need and deserve.
Intoxication Versus Alcohol-Induced Dementia
Many of the symptoms of alcohol-induced dementia mimic the signs of intoxication, which means the condition often goes unreported. When seniors with alcoholism start to experience cognitive decline, friends and family members don’t recognize the signs of dementia as distinct from the signs of intoxication. Seniors with alcohol-induced dementia also experience moments of lucidity, which makes it even more challenging for family members to notice the symptoms.
The best course of treatment for alcohol-induced dementia is abstinence. However, some seniors aren’t prepared to make a massive lifestyle change. Caregivers should help their senior loved ones alter their alcohol habits. Kicking addiction is possible at any age, but seniors are unlikely to succeed on their own. They need a supportive circle of friends and family members willing to provide assistance. Some seniors may find success attending alcohol addiction support groups, while others may need to enroll in an alcohol rehabilitation facility. After a diagnosis, caregivers should help their loved ones find the treatment method that best suits their needs.
Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional in-home dementia care. Las Vegas, Nevada, families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your aging loved one, call us at (702) 550-3185 today.