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How to Care for Dementia Patients

Updated on June 21, 2016

Dementia is an overwhelmingly cluster of syndromes rather than a single disease. Non-specific syndromes that are myriad and undefined in nature characterize it. The effect is principally on the cognition involving defects in attention, memory, language and problem solving. The formal way of testing for the disorder is through a lengthy observation of the symptoms for a period longer than 6 months.

Pronounced effects of the syndrome may include disorientation in time and place. These individuals may be very poor in resolving ideas and may know nothing at all in their surrounding. Sometimes the basic abilities are preserved in dementia; however, a number of executive functions are regressed. Dementia occurs in different forms including Alzheimer's type, vascular dementia, frontal-temporal dementia, semantic dementia and the dementia with Lewy bodies.

The reason why dementia is considered one of the most baffling syndromes to treat is because its symptoms are non-specific. The condition may be rapidly progressive within months and weeks leading to manifest defects in cognitive ability as well as the moral functionality. Since it might confuse individuals; pointing to other conditions, its treatment should be specific and precise. Dealing with these patients is a baffling event that requires adept exactitude and concentration.

Because dementia is a non-specific syndrome, it is not easy to determine the condition. It has many effects especially on the aged individuals. It does not only degenerate the memory of an individual, but also damages the ability of an individual to learn and process information. Most individuals suffering from dementia have the problem of learning even the basic concepts. They become very vulnerable in the society.

Ideally, this condition induces inability to reason and retain information in the brain. A number of the sufferers are often unable to recall the experiences in their past. They lose the sense of patterns and activities. They may have prolonged depression modes making them to remain antisocial for longer period of time. Due to the symptoms that the individuals having dementia may exhibit, the quality of life may be reduced. This can affect both the patients as well as the people around them. Caregivers may also develop depression as a result of the failed therapy on such individuals.

With time, the dementia condition worsens influencing the social life of these individuals. Dementia may make individuals to neglect themselves and feel inferior. The inferiority complex may progressively lead to the incontinence where the individuals may be unable to carry out personal duties without help. The behaviors in this stages change and the individuals do not have control over their own behaviors. The mood swings are often unpredictably instant. They may experience episodes of sadness or happiness within shorter periods of time. These people are often affected by the inability to recognize their friends or close allies.

People with dementia are hard to deal with since they may suffer from a lot of worries. They may be restless at any point in time. They often reject help or support from even the closest relatives. They do not understand what they are doing and may be at higher risks if not tendered properly. They often have conditions like depression, psychosis, aggression and agitation. These conditions may make them very vulnerable to the communities. They are often unable to co-exist peacefully with others and may pose a lot of risks to themselves and the society or families.

On the other hand, the individuals may not be able to respond readily to the treatment due the fact that they may defy the treatment. Due to the myriad conditions that the patients might suffer from, it is necessary to find out the exact conditions affecting them before you start to execute the treatment. Ideally, it is advisable to diagnose each and every condition in these individuals and treat each one of them independently and precisely. It is advisable not to put such patients on complex treatment as their do not have adequate knowledge on treatment.

Dementia has treatable types and the untreatable types; however, it is necessary for the caregivers to be strict on the instructions given by the physicians. It is not easy to specifically treat dementia as it is also hard to determine the exact problem that these individuals have. Additionally, it is advisable that before the treatment, a thorough definitive diagnosis should be done. Various cognitive and behavioral interventions are often recommended, but it is not obvious that the prognosis may be good. A number of individuals who suffer from dementia have reduced quality of life and may live in denial for a relatively longer period of time

The most important care is the elderly care. However, most dementia patients may be adamant to such care. They may be compulsively agitated that they may not get cared for well. Worse types may lead to lack of self control as well as pronounced incontinence. Such individuals require good care and support at all times. This may greatly affect the caregivers or the family. Dementia stakes relatively longer time to resolve thus may be a great issue in the family. Nonetheless, some cases may resolve and the patients may regain their former quality of life

I have an experience of a demented grandmother whom I had to care for. The care that I needed to render to my demented grandmother was overwhelmingly tiresome. I needed to provide for her every single support in every single situation that she needed. The part that I didn’t like most was the incontinence. She had no control on her short and long calls. I had to maintain her hygiene all the time despite the fact that she did not recognize me. At times, she grew unwaveringly emotional and cried. This subjected me to be depressed as well. She could not grasp any single instruction and always rejected my help. As with many dementia patients, my grandmother was sad all the time. She could not eat well and always thought that I was not her grandchild. Through this, I encountered that dementia is a condition that ravages the quality of lives of both the caregivers and the patients.

Dementia Care Tutorial

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    • wabash annie profile image

      wabash annie 3 years ago from Colorado Front Range

      Great information! All of us have encountered people afflicted with this heartbreaking disease, as you were with your grandmother and I with my father. Thanks for writing on this topic.