The word dementia refers to many types of cognitive breakdown, including loss of memory and reasoning power. Because of the mental issued, they cause disruptions in the person’s daily life. Since it is usually found in elderly patients, some people refer to it as going senile. Although untrue, people used to believe that dementia was just what happened when one got old.
In fact, dementia is actually a symptom of other problems, and it is not age specific. Sometimes, the effects of the mental disorder are able to be reversed with treatment. Often, though, the illness is not reversible and will slowly worsen.
Since the patients lose most of their memory, they often require constant care. Along with memory loss, the patients will also lose other cognitive function, and they may become unaware of their surroundings.
Many elderly people become fearful of dementia when they suffer common slips of the memory. Often, elderly people suffer from some memory loss, called by the professionals “senescent forgetfulness.” This type of problem is more of an aggravation than a serious issue.
Dementia will affect all of the person’s ability to think and understand the things around them.
When someone shows symptoms like memory loss, severe mood swings, confusion, and difficulty with speech, a physician should be consulted. The symptoms and causes of dementia can be treated and cared for once a physician has made the proper diagnosis.
A person suffering from dementia will need much care, and that need will increase over time. One of the well-know types of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which requires constant supervision. In most Alzheimer’s cases, the family cares for the patient in their own home.
Care for people suffering from dementia does not follow a certain pattern. While it may be frustrating, the caretaker should always treat the patient with respect and provide them patience. The caretaker will see major changes in the patient’s personality, but they are suffering and they are still the same person they were.
One way to help a person with dementia is to spend time working on the strengths that they still have, since this will give them something else upon which to focus. Remember that people with dementia still enjoy spending time with others socially.
Family and caregivers will need to remind themselves that each dementia patient’s experiences will be unique. A patient must be allowed to express themselves while the caretakers work to provide the best care for them.
It can be difficult, but one must remember that the memory loss can be detrimental for the patient. Because of the short-term memory loss, the patient should be watched over when doing anything potentially dangerous, like cooking.
While they may forget many things short-term, dementia patients will usually retain their long-term memory. Patients may become frustrated with changing situations.
Frustration and anger can happen quickly, so the caregiver should always be prepared. Memory games should never be employed with dementia patients. These games could lead to severe frustration or fear.
Dementia patients should be protected from dangerous situations. There should be no dangerous obstacles in the person’s house, garage, or yard. In addition, all areas should be well lit. Mirrors should be avoided since they can mislead a patient. If the dementia is severe enough, they may think the mirror is someone else and they will become frightened.
Family members should take the care of dementia patients very seriously even in the most stressful times.