Health and Wellbeing

Beyond forgetfulness: Understanding Dementia

Let's take a moment to shine a light on a critical illness that's often overshadowed by other health concerns – dementia, a growing concern in the Philippines, especially among the elderly. As our country ages, the number of people affected by dementia is expected to rise significantly in the coming years.

Before we dive in, let's understand what dementia really is.

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What is Dementia?

Dementia is a broad term covering various cognitive impairments, with Alzheimer's disease being the most common form. According to the World Health Organization, Alzheimer's might be responsible for 60-70% of dementia cases worldwide and can be a leading cause of disability and dependency among older individuals. So, it's no surprise that addressing dementia is crucial, and we need to create awareness about it.

Apart from Alzheimer's, there are other types of dementia we should be aware of, such as vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, Lewy body dementia, and Parkinson's disease dementia. The signs and symptoms of dementia goes beyond the typical forgetfulness we associate with aging; it's a serious condition that requires attention.

What are the causes of Dementia

One of the leading culprits is damage to brain cells, which affects their communication and cognitive functions. Conditions like stroke can also lead to dementia, and various factors like age, genetics, lifestyle choices such as smoking and alcohol, and other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and heart diseases play a role in its development.

In the Philippines, the risk of dementia naturally increases as we age, as is the case worldwide. Family history can also have an impact, as certain types of dementia like Alzheimer’s disease run in families. But don't worry; there are steps we can take to reduce the risk of dementia!

Signs of dementia and lessening your risks

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is key in how to prevent dementia. Regular exercise, a balanced diet with lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains, and mentally stimulating activities like puzzles and reading can all contribute to keeping our brains healthy and happy. Don't forget to stay socially active too! Spending time with loved ones and engaging in activities that challenge our minds can work wonders.

Early diagnosis is essential, so it's crucial to recognize the signs of dementia, such as memory loss, communication difficulties, mood changes, and confusion. If you or someone you know exhibits these symptoms, don't hesitate to seek medical advice.

Are you and your loved ones prepared?

Of course, we also need to be prepared financially in case we or our loved ones are diagnosed with dementia. Considering critical illness coverage like FWD Vibrant Critical Illness insurance can offer much-needed financial protection should we be faced with failing health. FWD Vibrant offers a complete health protection plan from wellness to recovery that can cover you from a list of major and minor critical illnesses up to 100 years of age. It's a proactive way to safeguard yourself and your family from the financial burden of dealing with dementia and other age-related critical illnesses.

In a nutshell, as a family-oriented culture with a growing number of senior citizens, dementia is an important issue in the Philippines, and we should all be aware of its causes, symptoms, and preventive measures.

Let's promote healthy living, encourage early diagnosis, and consider suitable insurance coverage to tackle this critical illness with a well-rounded approach. By doing so, we can face the challenges head-on and support our loved ones with love and compassion.