Probable Dementia Is Associated with Unsafe Behaviors

(RxWiki News) Think a loved one has dementia? Get them checked out. They might be engaging in unsafe behaviors.

Adults who probably have dementia but have not been diagnosed are more likely than those who have a diagnosis to engage in potentially dangerous activities. Such activities include:

  • Driving
  • Preparing hot meals
  • Handling finances
  • Managing medications
  • Visiting a physician on their own

In one study1, researcher classified participants 65 or older into one of four groups:

  • Dementia diagnosis
  • Probable dementia without a dementia diagnosis
  • Possible dementia
  • No dementia

The groupings were based on participants’ own reports of a dementia diagnosis and a screening interview. They were also based on cognitive testing.

  • Some people met criteria for probable dementia. These people were undiagnosed at the time. Twenty percent reported engaging in potentially unsafe activities.
  • Those in the probable dementia group were more likely to pursue unsafe activities. This is compared to participants with possible or no dementia.
  • These findings held even after investigators adjusted collected data for sociodemographic factors, health status, medical conditions, and physical capacity.

Let's say you suspect that your loved one may have dementia. Getting an assessment should be a priority. Their safety may be at risk.

 

Reference:

  1. Halima Amjad. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, June, 2016.