6 Benefits of Early Dementia Detection

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

A dementia diagnosis is a life-changing event that can cause much grief and sadness. However, it can sometimes come as a relief to the individual and family members. At last, they understand why certain things are happening, and that there are things that can be done in order to provide the best life possible.

“If I could have one wish granted – besides having a cure for dementia – it would be that all individuals with dementia would receive a diagnosis as early as possible,” says Erica Labb, Executive Director of Bridges® by EPOCH at Westford. “Although we have no way yet to stop or reverse the progression of dementia, an early detection provides the opportunity for an individual to help take control of their condition.”

While no one likes to think about the possibility of developing dementia, understanding the benefits of early detection can help eliminate some of the stigma around the disease and can help families figure out the best path forward. Here are some of the key benefits of an early detection:


It provides clarity.

Memory loss does not always mean “dementia.” There are many other potentially treatable conditions that can mimic dementia, but if they aren’t detected, the damage could continue to progress and might end up being irreversible. Taking steps as soon as an issue surfaces helps eliminate the possibility of those other issues and instead allow doctors to focus on treatments, services and support, and give the individual the opportunity to plan for the future and live well with dementia.


It provides control of the situation.

Understanding what’s going on can help individuals with dementia to have the best access to information, research, support and other treatments that can improve their quality of life greatly. It also provides someone the opportunity to explain to friends and family what’s happening on their own terms. Finally, early detection allows the person the time and opportunity to review legal and financial situations so they can put actions into place that will provide peace of mind for themselves and their family members.


It can help you live more independently for as long as possible.

It’s been shown that an early diagnosis can help individuals with dementia to live in their own home, independently, for as long as possible. This is because understanding the situation can help avoid accidents or unnecessary hospitalizations that can result from the symptoms of dementia. Research has also proven that there are medications that can help lessen dementia symptoms for a limited time – but they are the most effective when taken in the early stages of the disease. Finally, early detection can give individuals a chance to prioritize their health and make lifestyle changes (like eating a heart-healthy diet, getting enough exercise and staying mentally and socially active) that can help preserve memory and cognitive function.


You may be able to participate in clinical trials.

Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia have had a lot of attention over the past few years, as researchers and medical professionals have focused on discovering a cure for these diseases. Because of this, there are many clinical trials that you or your loved one may be eligible for. Often, these trials require an individual to be in the earlier stages of the disease. Not only do these trials provide the opportunity for medical benefits, but you also are helping advance the understanding of this disease and helping to find a cure.


It allows you to make the most of your remaining time.

Many spouses of those with dementia say that, following an early diagnosis, they were able to re-focus on their relationships and make memories to last a lifetime. Understanding that you’re being affected by a life-changing disease can greatly change your outlook on the future. While you or your loved one are planning for what’s to come, it also provides the opportunity for you to focus on the present and spend time enjoying each other’s company. This is true for all your relationships – and gives you the chance to say and do the things you’ve always wanted to do.


It gives you and your family peace of mind.

Early detection means you have more time. More time to plan, and put down your thoughts, desires and wishes for what you want to happen. More time to look into your options, determine how you want your care to be handled and set down specific directions for your powers of attorney. And more time to spend with your loved ones. As the disease progresses, you and your loved ones can have peace of mind, knowing that your wishes have already been stated and can be easily followed.

While receiving a diagnosis of dementia is life-changing and scary, it also can be one of the greatest gifts you and your family receive along this journey. Understanding what’s to come, making plans and living each day to the fullest can ensure that you – and they – will have courage, understanding and compassion as you walk this journey together.


Comprehensive Memory Care

Bridges® by EPOCH at Westford delivers highly specialized memory care assisted living for those with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Our resident-centered approach focuses on providing dignity, purpose and moments of joy in daily life for those in all stages of the disease. We offer a wellness-focused lifestyle that centers around a resident’s current skills and abilities, not those that have been lost to dementia.


Life-Enriching Programs

Our team members take an active role in getting to know each resident on a personal level to deliver programming that is meaningful to them. We account for the preferences, interests, needs and abilities of our residents to connect with them and encourage their involvement in daily life and boost self-esteem.


Warm, Residential Atmosphere

Featuring a stunning residential design, every inch of our community has been designed to benefit those with memory loss. Attributes such as soft colors, directional cues, aromatherapy and interactive life stations create a soothing and secure environment where residents feel comfortable, safe and at home.


Contact us today to learn more.

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