By Kaleah McIlwain
Atria Center City is sponsoring PMC’s November Caregiver Retreat, and part of this sponsorship includes a presentation from a PMC dementia specialist.
At the event, Dr. Vaishnavi spoke to a small audience of older adults and caregivers about dementia: what it is, what the different types are, and how to get a proper diagnosis.
“A lot of people fear they have memory problems,” Dr. Vaishnavi said. “What we get worried about is something more specific, something called dementia. Dementia means a memory or thinking problem which is causing some limitations in function, often due to an underlying disease process.”
The most well-known cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, but dementia can also be caused by other degenerative processes that contribute to the loss of brain cells, resulting in memory problems, Dr. Vaishnavi noted. These other degenerative processes include metabolic disorders, medications, and sleep apnea.
What can people do if they are worried about their memory? Start with talking to the people around them like friends, family, and their primary care doctor, Dr. Vaishnavi said. He pointed out that it is more likely that someone has memory problems if it is noticeable by others. If they do find their memory problems are interfering with their everyday functions, the next step is to get an evaluation.
The current solution to progressive memory loss disorders in older adults are lifestyle changes, but Dr. Vaishnavi mentioned that as they try to diagnose the disease earlier there may one day be a treatment that can prevent that progression.
Dr. Vaishnavi’s talk at Atria Center City was recorded and is available to watch online here. If your organization is interested in sponsoring PMC and securing one of our dementia specialists to give a presentation, please contact PMC Executive Director Felicia Greenfield at email@example.com.