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Dealing With Dementia

dealing with dementia in older people

Dementia is not a specific disease but a group of symptoms that involve a decline in one’s cognitive functioning, behavior, and social skills. Dementia typically involves forgetfulness and memory loss along with a decline in language skills and communication, the person’s visual perception, and the ability to focus and pay attention. The disease also impairs reasoning, judgment, problem-solving, self-management, and emotional control. This decline is severe enough to restrict the person’s ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs).

Many people believe Alzheimer’s disease is an alternative expression for dementia. However, dementia and Alzheimer’s are not synonyms. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of progressive dementia that accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases in older adults. Other types of dementia include Lewy body dementia, Vascular dementia, Frontotemporal dementia, and Mixed dementia.

Will Dementia Cause Organ Failure?

Dementia is a progressive brain disease that affects the person’s cognition, emotional and social life, and behavior. In the advanced stage of the disease, the person is usually bedbound, unable to move, speak, or perform any ADLs. Dementia can also affect other organs, including the respiratory and urinary systems.

Will Dementia Ever Go Away?

Dementia is currently diagnosed as an irreversible disease. Once diagnosed, dementia does not go away. However, the symptoms can differ and progress at different rates from person to person. You can also read this post on Does Alzheimer’s Ever Go Away?

How To Help a Loved One in Distress?

Consider the following strategies to help a loved one with dementia deal with these challenging behaviors:

  • Recognize the situations that occur when the person was content and peaceful and try to recreate these situations when possible
  • Assess your loved one for pain, discomfort, anxiety or depression
  • Remain calm and reassuring and provide support
  • Ask the person’s physician to review her list of medications as sometimes a particular medication or combination of meds can trigger distress