Dementia is a chronic health condition that commonly affects elderly people over the age of 65. The impacts of it can be devastating, both on the individual with the condition and the wider family members who are trying to help the person, as the effects can be distressing to witness and cope with. It is a degenerative condition that typically becomes worse over time as the brain and nervous system become more damaged. In the early stages of dementia, it may manifest as a person having difficulty remembering simple facts or struggling to recall information from the past. In this article, some of the key effects of dementia will be described in detail. In addition, the management of dementia will be explored. Unfortunately, there is no definite cure for the condition at present. However, the quality of life of dementia patients can be improved with access to medical and healthcare professionals.
Impacts on Mental Health
It is an unfortunate fact that dementia can trigger a range of effects on a person’s mental health and well-being. People with moderate and advanced forms of dementia often have problems controlling their mood. Commonly, dementia patients can become aggressive and even violent towards others. Some of this aggression may stem from the person feeling deeply frustrated by the effects of dementia. As the condition progresses, they may struggle to communicate effectively, and they may not fully understand what is being asked of them. This frustration can manifest in verbal outbursts of aggression or physical acts of violence. For family members and close friends, it can be incredibly distressing to witness this change in behaviour. However, it is important to recognize that the condition is causing these changes. Keep calm and be tolerant when speaking to the loved one. Remember that dementia can also cause low mood, anxiety, and even clinical depression in the person as they struggle to cope with the illness.
In patients with moderate and advanced levels of dementia, their safety may begin to become compromised. For example, dementia can result in increasing levels of confusion and a lack of awareness of a person’s surroundings. Dementia patients may struggle to remember their home address and may become disorientated when outside. In addition, people with dementia may not be able to manage their daily life as the condition advances. Preparing meals may become dangerous as they may not remember to turn off an oven after cooking food, which can present a fire hazard. When a person is no longer safe to remain at home due to dementia, it is important to consider the option of relocating them to a dedicated care facility.
Memory Care Facilities to Manage the Condition
Memory care facilities are designed to provide specialist care and treatment plans for patients with moderate to advanced levels of dementia. In America, there are many of these centres. For example, in Missouri, family members can search for memory care in St. Louis to find professionally run establishments that offer 24/7 care and tailored management plans for their residents. Highly trained care and medical staff are on-site to help dementia patients achieve the best possible standard of life. In addition, there may be a range of activities at these establishments that are designed to help dementia patients manage their condition. One such activity is using reminiscence therapy as a way to help dementia patients improve their cognitive recall skills. Patients are typically asked to talk about a pleasurable experience from the past and share their stories with other group members. This can be an excellent way to recall information and remember positive times in their lives.
Meg is an author at Cinnamon Hollow. She writes on a variety of topics sharing tips and ideas for daily life.