Vascular Dementia Treatment and Support

vascular dementia treatment

It is important to understand what are the most beneficial vascular dementia treatment techniques and support since you can truly alleviate the condition.

Vascular dementia is a general term that represents one of the most common types of dementia. It occurs when the brain does not receive enough blood supply because of blood vessels that have been affected by the disease.

An illness that mostly affects seniors, it is said that one of out of four people above the age of 65 will get vascular dementia.

Unfortunately, there are still no approved pharmacological treatments available for anyone with this type of dementia.

This is not to say that individuals with the disease are usually left alone unattended.

There are several measures individuals with the illness and caregivers can take to manage the risk factors and health conditions that contribute to vascular dementia such as:

Best Vascular Dementia Treatments

Making Lifestyle Changes

vascular dementia treatment making lifestyle changes
The primary aim of vascular dementia treatment is to take care of any underlying causes that are making the condition to worsen.

One of the top things that a doctor may recommend is a lifestyle change for an individual with the illness. This usually involves a number of things such as:

Making healthy lifestyle changes is key to helping you maintain a healthy body that will effectively combat a majority of the health issues that are associated with vascular dementia.


vascular dementia treatment therapies
There are different types of therapies that may be beneficial to a person who has vascular dementia.

These help to make day to day living a bit easier. Examples of such include:

  • Psychological therapies – These help to enhance problem-solving skills, memory, and language abilities.
  • Occupational therapy – Experts who facilitate this type of therapy usually identify the problem areas that individuals with vascular dementia face on a daily basis. It can include anything from dressing up properly to eating. The experts then offer practical solutions to tackle the problems amicably.
  • Physiotherapy – This typically helps the persons who have difficulties with movement.


It’s also common for people with vascular dementia to take meds as part of vascular dementia treatment.

These do not take care of the condition but help treat some of the medical issues that individuals with the illness usually get.

Some of the most common medications that medics prescribe help to treat diseases like:

Anyone who is taking different types of medicines needs to communicate this clearly to their physician.

This way, the professionals will know the drugs to add or eliminate so that there is no interaction that will hurt the person with vascular dementia.

Managing Stress

managing stress
Many people with vascular dementia go through stress for one reason or the other. Being stressed does not help at all because stress also contributes to other medical conditions like heart diseases and blood pressure.

You need to find ways to relax so that you can manage stress to avoid going through other medical issues because of stress.

There are a number of relaxation techniques you can try when you feel like things are getting out of hand. These include:

  • Yoga
  • Deep breathing
  • Meditation
  • Rhythmic exercise

You can also engage one or more of your senses i.e. taste, sound, sight, touch, smell, or even imagination to reduce stress at a given moment fast.

Engaging the Brain

engaging the brain
Another option available for a person seeking vascular dementia treatment is challenging the brain. Understand that the brain remains capable for the entire lifetime of a person.

This simply means that a person can enhance the ability to retrieve and even retain memories. It’s advisable that a person with this kind of dementia sets some time either in the morning or in the evening to build memory capacity.

Activities that may help with this include learning new skills such as painting, a new language or anything else that interests an individual.

If you do this consistently, you will notice beautiful results after some time.

Having Fun

having fun
After a vascular dementia diagnosis, you may feel the need to sulk and get lost in a world of your own. It is important to fight this urge because it will do you no good.

After getting over the initial shock, it is vital to note that life must move on. If you do not want the disease to progress at a speedy rate, you must make a point of having some fun.

Playing, laughing, and doing things that you enjoy doing are excellent ways to reduce worry and the monster that is stress.

Happiness can be a game-changer inspiring lifestyle changes and may compensate for cognitive and memory losses as well as stop further strokes.

Join a Support System

join a support system
It may be a relief to know that you are not the only person with vascular dementia. You can join forces with other people out there who share the same predicament.

It can help to make the burden even lighter as you interact with other people. Share your experiences as you tackle the journey ahead. Being in a group is therapeutic because you can also learn new ways of managing the condition.

You can look for a support group easily online to find the ones that are closest to you.

This way, you do not have to think about the troubles of traveling just to be with other people who share the same illness.

Create a Personal Support Network

create a personal support network
Support groups are not all about people who share the same illness. You can also seek encouragement and assistance from other people such as:

  • Friends
  • Family
  • Church members
  • Colleagues
  • Neighbors
  • A spouse
  • Health care experts, etc.

If you are still not at the stage when you need round the clock assistance, spending time with other people that you love or care about can help you better cope with your condition.

Relying on one person may not really work out well especially if they are not professional caregivers.

This is why it helps to have more than one person to lean on. It even makes the other party more willing to spend time with you and offer the assistance you need.

Managing Memory Loss

managing memory loss
Learning how to manage the symptoms of vascular dementia goes a long way as part of vascular dementia treatment.

One of the most significant symptoms has got to be memory loss. You must learn practical ways to manage this loss while staying as realistic and optimistic as possible.

While it may not be possible to bring back everything you have lost, it can still help to make a difficult situation more bearable.

Things you can do to help with memory loss include:

  • Using memory aids
  • Following regular routines
  • Clearly communicating your needs
  • Maintaining social activity
  • Being upfront about your current condition
  • Being patient with yourself
  • Accepting help when other people offer

Home Modifications

home modifications
If a person with vascular dementia will be staying at home, it is best to create a stable and supportive environment where they will thrive without too many problems.

Modifying the home is one of the steps that help to reduce any potential stressors that may disorient or agitate the individual with dementia. Some of the things to remove from the house are mirrors that reflect other surfaces.

Also, items that can cause loud and identifiable noises, patterned wallpaper, and colors that contrast highly. If an individual has problems with moving around, they can transfer to the ground floor.

This way, that they are not always tasked with the responsibility of moving from one level to another.

Being Part of a Clinical Trial

being part of a clinical trial
The fact that there is still no definite vascular dementia treatment does not mean that researchers and other professionals are not out there trying.

If you are willing, you can become part of a clinical trial that is testing new interventions and treatments to help detect, prevent, manage, or treat the disease.

This, however, requires a lot of due diligence on your end. You must get all the information you need about a particular trial before deciding to be a part of anything.

Seek advice from your doctor on whether a specific study will be beneficial. Your loved ones can also help you make a wise decision about these clinical trials.

Nursing Home Care

nursing home care
Home care for some people who have vascular dementia may not be viable after a while. This means that you should look into nursing homes or any other types of care homes that will be able to accord the type of assistance you need.

Although it may be a hard decision to make at times, there are several good things to look forward to in such homes as:

  • Around the clock care.
  • Assurance that the individual with the condition is somewhere safe.
  • Interaction and social activities with other residents, and much more.

Be sure to do your homework well to find a suitable care home that will meet the needs of the individual with the illness well.

Lower blood pressure

lower blood pressure
Keeping your body healthy and fit is crucial when it comes to vascular dementia. That said, even when it comes to blood pressure, you need to keep it low.

Or, if you are a caregiver or a family member of a patient with dementia, you need to do whatever it takes to get the blood pressure down.

There are tons of different ways that help lover it. From increasing daily activities and losing weight to removing refined carbohydrates from the diet, eating less sodium and staying away from processed food.

Stop drinking alcohol and smoking is also a must. As mentioned earlier, reducing excess stress will also do you and the patient with dementia nothing but good.

A few extra options:

Final Thoughts

Even though there is still no sure vascular dementia treatment, controlling the conditions that are associated with the illness can slow down the rate at which the condition worsens. At times, it may even prevent further decline.

People with the illness, as well as their caregivers, need to put their best foot forward to ensure that the individual ends up living a good life in spite of what is going on.

Vascular Dementia Prognosis and Progression

vascular dementia prognosis

This extensive overview of vascular dementia prognosis and progression gives you a better understanding of the development of the disease during the early, middle and late stages.

Vascular dementia is a condition that occurs when a particular part of your brain does not get enough nutrients and blood.

Also known as multi-infarct dementia, studies show that it has quickly risen to become the second most common cause of dementia in golden-agers.

Contributing factors

Several factors contribute to vascular dementia prognosis, such as:

  • Ruptured blood vessels that cause bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • The aftermath of a series of small strokes or a major stroke
  • Damage to the blood vessels from infections, autoimmune disorders, and atherosclerosis
  • Other causes

These usually lead to interruptions or decreased blood flow to the brain.

Brain cells need a constant supply of blood that transports nutrients and oxygen to function correctly and remain healthy.

A network of vessels known as the vascular system delivers blood to the brain. When the system does not work correctly, the blood vessels may become blocked or leak.

When this happens, blood does not reach the brain cells and if this happens continuously, the cells eventually die.

Death of brain cells comes with numerous health complications. Some of them include issues with reasoning, memory, and thinking. The three elements combined are known as cognition.

Vascular dementia is one of the most wide-spread

When these cognitive problems affect a person’s daily life, it is a strong indication that they have vascular dementia.

Diagnosis of vascular dementia is sometimes difficult.

This is because there are no tests that show that an individual has the disease. Doctors will, however, study the symptoms that a person is displaying to confirm whether they have the condition or not.

The medical experts must first rule out any illnesses that have the same symptoms, such as depression or Alzheimer’s disease.

Thyroid and vitamin deficiencies, side effects of medications, or an array of infections may also cause symptoms.

Always take care of nutrients and proper brain blood flow

Now that you are aware of the likely causes of vascular dementia, let’s take a look at how the disease progresses.

Note that there is still no cure for people with this illness.

When caught early, doctors can recommend various treatment options that may see the disease progress slowly to maximize the independence of an individual with the condition.

Although the disease progresses differently for different people depending on the underlying cause, genetics, age, and overall health, it can be divided into three stages that we will discuss below.

Vascular dementia prognosis in different stages

Stage 1: Early Stage of Vascular Dementia

early stage of vascular dementia
During the initial stages of vascular dementia, regardless of the prognosis, a person is still able to function independently. In fact, most people may mistake the symptoms of this type of dementia to be those of normal aging.

For example, older people are known to experience slight lapses in memory, such as forgetting where they place things or have challenges finding the right words to complete a sentence.

During this stage, a person may continue working if they are employed or running a business without too much difficulty.

Many maintain a healthy social life and do not need much assistance with their day to day activities.

On average, the stage lasts anywhere from two-four years though it may be more or less for some people.


Some of the early symptoms that an individual may experience include:

  • Difficulties with planning,
  • Problems with focusing/concentration,
  • Slowness of thought,
  • Challenges grasping new concepts,
  • Behavioral or mood changes,
  • Slight issues with language and memory, etc.

Most people will not go to the hospital because the above symptoms are barely noticeable. This is not to say that a person is not aware that things are not the way they were before.

For your information, it is vital to get immediate medical attention when you notice that something is amiss. This is because the symptoms are an indication that there is a presence of brain damage that requires treatment.

During the initial stages, a person with vascular dementia may also be unusually emotional and prone to apathy.

A high percentage of people also have depression and anxiety, especially when they first learn about what is going on in their lives.

When this type of dementia comes about after stroke, a person may experience physical symptoms like problems with speech or vision and weakness of the limbs.

Rehabilitation can help such symptoms to improve or stabilize over time.

Stage 2: Middle Stage Vascular Dementia

middle stage vascular dementia
With vascular dementia, the disease usually becomes worse after some time, particularly with the lack of proper treatment.

After finding out the possible vascular dementia prognosis and going through the initial stages of the disease, a person then moves on to the next phase of the illness.

At this stage, the symptoms that you experienced during the initial malady start to become more intense.

You might even find that you need more assistance with your day to day life because your level of independence starts to decline.

With most people, getting help from family and friends is still sufficient at this point without the need for professional home care. For some, it may be time to step down from responsible duties at the workplace.

Help is necessary for more daily tasks

Problems with communication, disorientation, confusion, reasoning, and memory loss escalate in a way that a person is not able to be as productive as they are supposed to be.

Many can handle a few house chores here and there, but may still need some support with a few areas in their lives.

Most of the time, individuals at this stage cannot fully complete jobs. You may find that something as simple as counting from one to ten becomes an uphill task for most.

Most individuals with vascular dementia will start pulling away from social life, knowing that the symptoms are becoming more visible at this stage.

Loved ones or caregivers may discover that a person is no longer interested in doing the things that they used to love. Most of the time, it is not because they no longer have an interest. It is because they fear embarrassment since they cannot enjoy the activities in the same way they did before.

It is also common for persons in the middle stage of the illness to experience paranoia, fear, and confusion. Some people even go through changes in sleep patterns.

There have been cases of people who experience seasons of decline in cognitive abilities; then a period of stability followed by another step down in regards to cognitive skills, then stability, etc.

This is known as the “stepwise” or “step-like progression” pattern.

Stage 3: Final/Last Stage of Vascular Dementia

final last stage of vascular dementia
When a person who has vascular dementia continues to age, vascular dementia prognosis becomes more severe as the individual waits for their final resting day.

This stage is usually quite severe to the extent that most people cannot survive on their own.

They typically require constant care from expert caregivers.

An individual can either get this at home or move into a facility that specifically takes care of residents who have vascular or other types of dementia.

Unfortunately, a person predominantly experiences negative effects in different areas of their life. This can include:

  • Significant issues with communication to the point that a person only uses expressions or words. Some may not be able to communicate anymore verbally.
  • Memory becomes worse. An individual may not recall what you have just told them or even recognize people that they love.
  • Some people with the illness may become bedridden where they are not able to walk requiring extensive assistance to move from one point to another.
  • Feeding and swallowing may also become a big issue for people who are in their last stages of vascular dementia.
  • People with the illness tend not to have any judgment or even proper problem-solving skills.
  • Most individuals in this final stage cannot be part of community affairs that are outside their care home.
  • Many will also require assistance with bathroom issues because they are often incontinent.
  • Severe vascular dementia can also cause abnormal reflexes and muscle rigidity. Persons with the illness are also more prone to infections like pneumonia.

Closing Remarks

vascular dementia prognosis
When it comes to vascular dementia prognosis, it helps to note that the symptoms of the disease usually get worse over time.

It is something that can happen in sudden steps or gradually every few months or years. Knowing the stages that people go through is vital to understand how to take care of yourself or your loved ones.

Worth noting is that everyone has a unique experience when dealing with the illness.

It is essential to seek medical advice from a professional as soon as you suspect the early symptoms of vascular dementia. The doctor will put you on a treatment regimen that may slow down the progression or prevent it from getting worse.

Researchers also agree that taking good care of the brain and the heart when you have this type of dementia can help slow down progression.

This includes things like exercising regularly, maintaining healthy blood pressure, eating healthy foods and drinks, and not smoking and drinking alcohol.

Even though the brain can repair itself to a certain level, the condition can still shorten a person’s lifespan.

This may be even shorter if a person has another heart attack or stroke that causes additional brain damage. The seriousness of this disease affects a person’s prognosis.

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