Vascular means anything that has to do with the body’s vessels (most commonly the blood vessels).
Vascular dementia is a condition that many elderly people get. It is a condition where the brain’s arteries or blood vessels in the body become damaged. There isn’t enough blood flow to keep the cells alive. The brain becomes very vulnerable to the damage. If someone’s brain cells don’t get enough oxygen for a certain length of time, they die off. This can cause impacted cognitive function issues and lead to dementia.
If you are caring for your elderly loved one you may want to know more about the risk factors for vascular dementia.
It is important to know that as your loved one gets even older, they will have a higher risk of getting vascular dementia. It is more prominent in those who are over 65 years of age.
Stroke and Heart Attack
When a stroke or heart attack occurs, there often isn’t enough blood flow to the person’s brain. This can lead to blood vessel damage. If there is extensive damage, the person will have a higher risk of getting vascular dementia.
This is a condition in which the blood vessels age abnormally. With this condition, there are deposits of various substances, including cholesterol, in the narrowed blood vessels and arteries. If someone has this condition, they will also have a higher risk of getting vascular dementia. This is due to the reduced blood flow to their brain.
High Cholesterol and High Blood Pressure
If someone has high LDL (bad cholesterol levels), they will also have a higher risk of getting vascular dementia. In addition, those with high blood pressure have more stress being put on their blood vessels. This also raises the risk of vascular dementia. If you or a home health care provider is caring for your elderly loved one be sure to help them keep their levels under control.
It is also important to know that high sugar (glucose) levels can damage the blood vessels in the brain and body. Many people who have diabetes end up with vascular dementia.
If your elderly loved one is a smoker, they will also have a higher risk of getting vascular dementia. They will have a higher risk of getting various other health problems, as well.
Atrial fibrillation is a rapid, irregular, and abnormal heartbeat. It occurs on the top chambers of one’s heart. If your elderly loved one has this condition, it will increase their risk of having a stroke. The stroke could cause blood clots which can then lead to vascular dementia.
These are some of the most common vascular dementia risk factors. It is important that you and your loved one’s home health care providers help them to reduce their risk for this disease. Making sure they aren’t overweight is a great start. You can also encourage them to exercise, eat right, and not smoke.