Dementia: Awareness, Care, and Support

dementia

Dementia is one of the most challenging conditions in society. Also referred to as madness, dementia is a disease in which cognitive and mental state are affected. This condition gradually affects memory, thinking skills, temporal and spatial orientation, and the ability to recognize people and objects. The patient’s process of illness is characterized by confusion, anger, suspicion, and even violence.

Causes

This condition is caused by a combination of diseases and injuries that primarily affect the brain. These diseases include Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.

Who is in danger?

Dementia is one of the major factors of disability among the elderly. The risk of developing this condition before age 60 is minimal and doubles after every five years. About 5% of people aged 70-79 have this condition. This rate rises to about 16% for those aged 80-89. For people aged 90 and over, one in three is affected.

Signs and symptoms of dementia

Dementia affects each person differently depending on the effects of the disease and the patient’s personality. Signs and symptoms related to dementia occur in 3 stages:

Initial stage:

This is the early phase of this disease; however, the stage often goes unnoticed. In this stage, the patient might;

  • Tend to forget
  • Lose consciousness of time
  • Lose direction in familiar places

Intermediate stage:

As it progresses to this stage, the signs and symptoms are more evident and more visible. The patient can;

  • Forget recent events and people’s names
  • Forgetting home
  • Have more difficulty communicating
  • Require help with personal hygiene care
  • Present behavioral changes, such as wandering or repeating the same questions

Final stage: This stage involves total dependence and inactivity. The patient may;

  • Lose awareness of time and place.
  • Have difficulty recognizing family and friends.
  • Require increased support for personal care.
  • Have difficulty walking.
  • Present behavioral changes, the patient can go to aggression.

Treatment and care

At the moment, no treatment can cure this condition or change the course. However, this condition is manageable. The main objectives concerning the management of dementia are:

  1. Early diagnosis to promote rapid and optimal control.
  2. Screening and treatment of contemporary physical illnesses.
  3. Detection and treatment of complex behavioral and psychological symptoms.
  4. Provision of information and long-term support to the caregivers.

[expand title = “References”]

Dementia. URL Link . November 11th, 2017.

About  Dementia. URL Link. Accessed November 11th, 2017.

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