Dementia is misunderstood
“Dementia is not a specific disease.” In fact, dementia is considered a syndrome by some in the medical community (Webmd.com). It’s an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms. Alzheimer’s is the most common and well-known accounting for 60-80% of the cases” (Alz.org).
Unlike Alzheimer’s, some cases are reversible. These include brain tumors, poisoning, anoxia and nutritional deficiency, which all mimic dementia. The chronic condition had been incorrectly called “senility.” Dementia is a very serious disorder that in the late stage infection can lead to coma, then death. This makes proper and continual observation of the individual crucial to the prevention of all forms of infection.
Memory loss is the first sign/symptom of the cognitive changes. Others include: difficulty with communicating, completing difficult or simple tasks, changes in behavior and decision-making. Changes in behavior may appear as anger, unwarranted moodiness, irrational, mental confusion and or child-like impulsivity. Medicine is frequently used to help treat various conditions of dementia. Mood stabilizing drugs are among them.
There is one common element of families coping with one who has Alzheimer’s or dementia. “Families feel sorrow, confusion and anger. Many don’t know where to turn to for guidance and support” (Usnews.com). Most are not prepared to deal with their mother or father being in such a state as this. Therefore, lack of proper care and negative reactions to them may worsen their condition. Family members in charge of caring for one with dementia may find themselves at times acting “out of sorts” in response to the demands and needs of their loved one. Guilt often sets in afterwards. With the best of intentions, many fall short of providing the best continuous care, to no fault of their own (lbda.org). “Caregiver burnout” takes its toll.
There are many demands and needs of those with dementia. Needs that are essential to the wealth-fare and overall well-being of that special person. Many years of study and research have played a vital part in identifying today’s best treatments and care. Individual care has been proven one the greatest methods of treatment. Clearly defined tips and guidelines by the Family Caregiver Alliance© have served as an excellent resource, which we at Alan Homemaking & Companion Services proudly follow and adhere to (Caregiver.org).
Alan Homemaking & Companion Services