1. Explain the term ‘dementia’.
Derives from the Latin demens, meaning ‘without mind’, is classes as a syndrome because is a group of related symptoms that are associated with a progressive decline of the brain.
2. What are the key functions of the brain that are affected by dementia? Memory, how a person uses words (Dysphasia), ability to understand and produce language (Aphasia), recognition of people, places and objects (Agnosia), loss of ability to carry out purposive or learned movements (Apraxia)
3. Explain why depression, delirium and age related memory impairment may be mistaken for dementia. Because they have similar symptoms which include: infections, severe constipations, depression, vitamin and thyroid deficiencies, brain tumors
1. Outline the medical model of dementia.
Dementia can be described as a group of usually progressive neurodegenerative brain disorders characterized by intellectual deterioration and more or less gradual erosion of mental and later physical function, leading to disability and death. This approach has allowed the development and deployment of pharmacological interventions for people with dementia and holds the hope that one day some dementia may be preventable or curable.
2. Outline the social model of dementia.
Dementia can viewed as one of the ways in which an individual’s personal and social capacities may change for a variety of reasons, and changes in such capacities are only experienced as disabilities when environmental supports (which we all depend upon to varying degrees) are not adaptable to suit them. Moreover, dementia thought of from a clinical perspective (that is, disease and disability leading to death) may also prefigure our collective social and professional approach to people with dementia as people irretrievably ill and fundamentally different from able-bodied healthy young people. This view may well underpin many of the problems faced by people with dementia and their carers when seeking help and in their experience of care in different settings.
3. Explain why dementia should be viewed as a disability
The multiple difficulties and increased risk of physical health problems mean that people with dementia may have multiple contacts with different NHS and social care professionals. By definition, dementia has an impact on activities of daily living (ADL), which in mild cases may consist of difficulties in shopping, maintaining a home and personal care but in more advanced cases may lead to difficulties in mobility, toileting and language skills. People with dementia, therefore, become increasingly reliant on family, friends and neighbors, and health and social care services. Carers (usually relatives but sometimes friends and neighbors) provide the majority of such care. Carer stress is common, with approximately 30% of carers having significant psychiatric morbidity (Donaldson et al., 1997). Despite much public education over the last 2 decades, dementia remains a stigmatizing illness, causing difficulties for both people with dementia and carers.
1. Look at 3 different individuals that you work with that suffer from dementia. Take into account their age, type of dementia, and level of ability and disability. Describe their individual experience of living with dementia. Subject 1: Female, 91 years old, Alzheimer’s disease. She become confused and frequently forget the names of people, places, appointments and recent events, experience mood swings, feel sad or angry, or scared and frustrated by her increasing memory loss, lately she has become more withdrawn, due either to a loss of confidence or to communication problems and now more that before she has difficulty carrying out everyday activities like brush her teeth. Subject 2: Female, 87 years old, Vascular Dementia. She presents difficulties walking, clumsiness, the most...