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Carlton Senior Living Blog | May 10, 2014 | By Jonita Dixon

Treatable Disorders with Dementia-Like Symptoms

Dealing With Dementia

The good news is that there are medical conditions that have dementia-like symptoms. Some of the senior health conditions are not serious and are often misdiagnosed but when they are caught early and treated properly, they can be reversed. Below are some disorders that can be seen as dementia.

Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus

Some people in senior housing would find their memory becoming fuzzy and ability to do simple things deteriorates that they feel useless. The symptoms can easily be misdiagnosed as the start of Alzheimer’s. In reality, it is normal pressure hydrocephalus, which is reversible through surgery. It is caused by a buildup of spinal fluid in the brain that leads to swelling and pressure over time that can damage brain tissues.

Senior Health and Medication

People in assisted living usually take a long list of medication daily. But there are times when some medications are less efficient when the people age. Drugs can build up and cause memory lapses and other side effects that are similar to dementia. To determine whether senior health is deteriorating because of the drugs one take daily, tell the doctor about all the drugs you are taking, including the supplements. There are some drugs that should be used with caution by older people.

Depression in Retirement Homes

Some old folks suffer from depression due to stress and anxiety. It is a serious medical condition that affects mood, memory, behavior, and reasoning. When a person suffers from depression, some parts of the brain are impaired. Some people with depression linked with Alzheimer’s may not realize they need memory care. If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from depression, have him or her get evaluated by a psychiatrist, geriatrician, or neurologist connected with a major medical center or a memory disorder clinic. Depression is treated with medication, cognitive therapy, regular senior fitness exercise, and stress relievers such as yoga and meditation.

Urinary Tract Infection

UTI is usually misdiagnosed in old people because they rarely suffer from high fever or pain. Most of the time, they experience memory lapses, delirium, hallucinations, confusion, dizziness, and agitation. Senior health is fragile because of their weakened immune system and weak bladder muscles. Older people in senior housing have trouble emptying their bladders. As more urine is held, bacteria build up and lead to infections. Delirium and confusion are common indicators of infection in older people. UTI is easily treated with antibiotics, a healthy diet, rest and lots of fluid.