3 Health Conditions that Can Cause Dementia-Like Symptoms

Senior Woman with Dementia in Her Bedroom

The spectrum of dementia is as complex as it is heart-wrenching, encompassing various neurodegenerative conditions that affect memory, cognition, and daily functioning. Within this landscape, another set of health concerns lurk, craftily mimicking the symptoms of dementia. For individuals and their families, understanding how these ailments impact cognitive well-being is a crucial step toward a comprehensive care approach. But fear not, for with this awareness, we can also uncover ten remarkable and accessible habits that act as the guardians of our gray matter.

Our experts at HearthStone Senior Living in Florida have curated a quick guide to detect dementia-like symptoms and which healthy habits can help delay cognitive decline. 

Woman with Glasses Sitting at Home


Depression’s cognitive symptoms mirror those of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, such as memory issues, concentration difficulties, and sluggish thought processes. However, unlike dementia, depression is reversible, and addressing it can disperse the mental fog and restore clarity and cognition.

Nutritional Deficiencies

A lack of essential vitamins and minerals can significantly impair cognitive function. Vitamin B12, in particular, is critical for optimal brain operation, acting as a conductor for the cerebral orchestra. Deficiencies in this and other nutrients can lead to confusion, irritability, and memory lapses, closely resembling the hallmark symptoms of dementia.

Thyroid Issues 

When the thyroid falters, its influence over the mind can be profound. Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can cause cognitive issues, leading to decreased attention span, lowered sense of judgment, and even hallucinations. The affected individual may walk and talk like someone with dementia, yet their disorder is related to the body’s metabolic powerhouse, the thyroid gland.

Healthy Habits to Combat Cognitive Decline

Prevention through healthy habits is akin to an early surveillance system when it comes to fortifying our cognitive functions. Here is a quick guide with some of the best practices that can stand guard against cognitive decline:

  1. Regular Exercise: Maintaining a regular fitness routine not only enhances cardiovascular health but also stimulates the creation of new brain cells and promotes connectivity between them, acting as a formidable shield against cognitive decline.
  2. Mental Workouts: Just like any other muscle, the brain requires exercise. Engaging in challenging mental stimulation—puzzles, learning a new language, or taking up an instrument—maintains cognitive elasticity and fortifies against the stagnation that can accompany aging.
  3. A Nutrient-Rich Diet: The adage ‘you are what you eat‘ rings especially true in the court of cognitive health. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and essential fats provides the necessary sustenance for brain health. Omega-3 fatty acids counter inflammation, and sufficient levels of antioxidants fight the free radicals that inhibit our mental faculties.
  4. Adequate Sleep: Deep, quality rest prevents cognitive lapses and allows the brain to consolidate information, repair itself, and flush out toxins that accumulate during wakefulness. 
  5. Reducing Stress: Engaging in relaxation techniques, cultivating social support, and fostering a supportive community all help maintain mental clarity and function.
  6. Social Engagement: Staying socially active helps build cognitive reserve, protecting against the impact of isolated living – a risk factor for cognitive decline.
  7. Limiting Toxic Substances: Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol and other toxic substances is known to take a toll on cognitive health. Modifying these behaviors to maintain levels well below official recommendations constitutes a significant step in safeguarding the brain against harm.
  8. Regular Check-ups: Regular medical visits serve as the guardian of cognitive health. Monitoring vitals, conducting cognitive screenings, and addressing potential red flags at an early stage fortify the individual’s position in the battle for cognitive well-being.

If you detect any of these dementia-like symptoms in yourself or a family member, support is available. Memory care communities provide support in the form of personalized care and therapeutic programming such as reminiscence therapy and music programs that tap into residual memories and emotions, fostering connections and moments of clarity.

Wife Comforting Senior with Dementia

At HearthStone Senior Living in Florida, our skilled team members not only assist with daily routines but also provide a nurturing community that prioritizes cognitive engagement. We put residents at the center of our mission, providing personalized care focusing on every area of their well-being. Our signature programs are designed to give residents the opportunity to learn, grow, and achieve their goals at their own pace, leading to a purposeful and enriched lifestyle. If you or a family member is looking for more information about our communities, please contact us today!

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