Medical Conditions That Are Often Mistaken for Dementia

If your elderly loved one begins showing signs of confusion, memory loss, and irritability, you may assume they’re suffering from dementia. However, there are several treatable conditions that could explain their symptoms. Before you assume the worse, you should get a doctor to thoroughly assess them. The individual you thought was on a path to mental decline may actually be able to continue living somewhat independently in a Boynton Beach assisted living community. Here are some of the possible explanations for your loved one’s symptoms.

Head Trauma

cause many of the symptoms associated with dementia. Since senior adults may fall and hit their head, this explanation is worth looking into. Even if the fall didn’t seem particularly serious, it could result in a concussion. If this is the case, the symptoms are likely to go away over time with the right care. A small bleed inside the skull following a fall can also impair cognitive functioning.


Depression is common in older adults, but it may go undetected because the symptoms are different from those presented by younger people. Sadness may not be the main symptom. Instead, the individual may appear grumpy or irritable, show signs of confusion, and have problems paying attention.

Vision or Hearing Problems

Sensory limitations can lead to behaviors that look a lot like cognitive impairment. The situation may worsen as the individual becomes more and more isolated because they can’t see or hear well. Hearing loss may also increase the risk of developing problems with cognition, so this is something to keep in mind. If your loved one’s hearing or vision problems can be alleviated, they should be.

Urinary Tract Infections

UTIs can result in the rapid onset of Alzheimer’s-like symptoms in some people, especially those who are older. They may seem sleepy, upset, confused or inattentive. Some people with UTIs even hallucinate. Your loved one’s doctor will want to test their urine to rule out an infection before they diagnose them with dementia. If they do have a UTI, a course of antibiotics will clear up the infection and the accompanying symptoms. If your loved one is living in an assisted living center in Boynton Beach, you won’t have to worry about moving them to the memory care section.

Thyroid Disease

If your loved one’s thyroid is over or underactive, it could affect their mental health. An underactive thyroid can make it difficult to learn new information or even remember something that just happened. Meanwhile, an overactive thyroid can make it hard to focus and the person may feel depressed or anxious. In the most serious cases, they may feel like they’re out of touch with what’s happening around them. With the right medication, your loved one will get relief from their symptoms.

Trust the Team at Courtyard Gardens Senior Living with Your Loved One

Health problems will come up from time to time with elderly people. If your parent or senior relative is living at our Boynton Beach assisted living community, they’ll be surrounded by caring and attentive staff. If their behavior changes, we’ll notice, and we’ll get them the care they need. Call us to learn more about the services we offer.