Geriatric Dementia Essay
GERIATRIC DEMENTIA Dementia has an originally meaning of madness “a serious loss of global cognitive ability in a previously unimpaired person, beyond what might be expected from normal aging. ” Although dementia has always been somewhat common, it has become even more common among the elderly in recent history. Dementia is one of the most serious disorders affecting the elderly. The prevalence of dementia increases rapidly with age. The prevalence of dementia has been difficult to determine, partly because of differences in definition among different studies, and partly because there is some normal decline in functional ability with age.
Dementia is most common in elderly people; it used to be called senility and was considered a normal part of aging. Dementia affects 5–8% of all people between ages 65 and74, and up to 20% of those between 75 and 84 (Crown, 2005). It is not clear if this increased frequency of dementia reflects a greater awareness of the symptoms or if people simply are living longer and thus are more likely to develop dementia in their older age (Ballard, 2005).
With the aging of the U. S.
population, a better understanding of the presentation and impact of dementia is essential to the future of public health. For future use, I would like to learn some interventions medical professionals have with patients that have dementia, so that as I begin work in the medical field I will be able to help patients but also help my coworkers understand patients with dementia. First, I want to discuss late adulthood, because this is normally when the onset of dementia occurs. It is a myth that dementia is a result of aging.
Some of the symptoms that occur with dementia are changes that are supposed to happen with aging, but just not the full extent. The five senses are not as sharp at age 65 as at age 16. It is harder to process information and understand it. Some of the signs and symptoms are Language change Problem solving Self risk and to others Anxiety Depression Word finding difficulty Personality changes Poor judgment Confusion Disrupted sleep pattern Hallucinations Loss of interest
Confabulation- believing the person has done or experienced things that never happened. Unable to learn new information May be unable to walk or move from place to place unassisted Impairment of movements such as swallowing Complete loss of short and long term memory A lot can be done to treat the person with dementia and the families to cope. Medications commonly used to treat Alzheimer’s disease help the symptoms of dementia. For the people with geriatric dementia medications to control high blood pressure and cholesterol may also be used.
Other drugs may be used to help control some behavioral symptoms of dementia such as sleeplessness or sleep deprivement. Most treatment for dementia will neither reverse nor stop the disease but there are treatment and medications that may reduce the symptoms and slow the disease progression. When you are with a person that dealing with this disease you should be aware that they don’t know all of the things they may say to you so u should be sesenative to their feelings and not get offended if they say or so mean things.
It may be hard on the family just as well as the person because this is something new to them and they may not know how to handle being dependent on someone to take care of them. When the person with geriatric dementia start to have the short term memory loss is the part that I think will affect the families the most because, they will ask you a question and not long after that they will ask the same question again. People with moderate and advanced dementia typically need round-the-clock care and supervision to prevent them from harming themselves or others.
They also may need assistance with daily activities such as eating, bathing, and dressing. Meeting these needs takes patience, understanding, and careful thought by the person’s caregivers. The emotional and physical burden of caring for someone with dementia can be overwhelming. Support groups can often help caregivers deal with these demands and they can also offer helpful information about the disease and its treatment. It is important that caregivers occasionally have time off from round-the-clock nursing demands.
Some communities provide facilities or adult day care centers that will care for dementia patients for a period of time, giving the primary caregivers a break. Eventually, many patients with dementia require the services of a full-time nursing home. Research has revealed a number of factors that may be able to prevent or delay the onset of dementia in some people. For example, studies have shown that people who maintain tight control over their glucose levels tend to score better on tests of cognitive function than those with poorly controlled diabetes.
Several studies also have suggested that people, who engage in intellectually stimulating activities, such as social interactions, chess, crossword puzzles, and playing a musical instrument, significantly lower their risk of developing AD and other forms of dementia. Scientists believe mental activities may stimulate the brain in a way that increases the person’s “cognitive reserve” – the ability to cope with or compensate for the pathologic changes associated with dementia.
(Medicine net) In conclusion geriatric dementia is a growing disease and should be taking very serious. Learning to deal with the disease and knowing the signs and symptoms can help the person with it and the family. Taking the medications provided can also help with the ride of having this disease, there is not a cure but the medications can slow down the progression. When you have a family member with this disease its ok to take a break by putting your love one in the care of the adult daycares without felling guilty.