Dementia: How and Whom Does It Affect?

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 409
  • Published : March 28, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
Running Head: DEMENTIA: HOW AND WHOM DOES IT AFFECT? 1

Dementia: How and Whom Does it Affect?
Liberty University
COUNS 502 B-23LUO
Instructor: Dr. Richard Pace
Shelly M. Becker
March 5, 2013

DEMENTIA: HOW AND WHOM DOES IT AFFECT? 2

Abstract

Although dementia is often viewed as an “old person’s disorder, its effects ripple down in many directions such as family, caregivers, finances, and the healthcare system, leaving behind many unanswered questions and confusion for all. The purpose of this paper will be to answer some of these questions, so that a better understanding of dementia will be possible. By doing so through research already performed, articles written on the subject, and information found in books written by experts in the fields of gerontology, developmental disorders (neurological), and dementia specifically, the average reader will be able to define dementia, understand basic concepts and theories of causation, explain the progression of this disorder, and fully appreciate the potential and real effects this disorder has on the individual, caregivers, costs (both for the individual and society), and lastly, learn coping strategies to help all affected make the best out of a debilitating disorder of the brain. Keywords: dementia, gerontology, neurological, developmental disorders, caregivers

DEMENTIA: HOW AND WHOM DOES IT AFFECT? 3

Dementia: How and Whom Does it Affect?
Introduction
Although dementia is often viewed as an “old person’s” disorder, it affects ripple down in many directions such as to family, caregivers, finances, and the healthcare system, leaving behind many unanswered questions and confusion for all. Based on research and information reported by experts in many fields, this paper will explore the different aspects surrounding dementia, specifically Alzheimer’s Disease, with the goal of helping the average person to better understand this debilitating disorder, become more familiar with how it affects everyone, and lastly, make available to the reader techniques and strategies that could benefit the afflicted, their caregivers, and medical professionals dealing with patients suffering from dementia. It is safe to say that everyone does, or will, know someone in their lifetime that has dementia. One reason for this is the rapid growing numbers of elderly as a segment of global population. According to Chop and Robnett (1999):

Baby boomers first turned 50 in 1996, and since then, every 7 seconds an American will turn 50 until the year 2014. In addition, growth of the older than 65 cohorts will continue to increase as baby boomers began turning 65 in 2010. It is estimated that y 2030, 22 percent, or 70.2 million, Americans will be older than the age of 65. Even more astonishing, those over 85 years of age are the fastest growing segment of our

DEMENTIA: HOW AND WHOM DOES IT AFFECT? 4

population. They are expected to triple in size between 1986 and 2030, and be nearly seven times larger in 2050 than in 1980! (pp. 2-3) The rapid growth of this age group is not only being seen in America, it is occurring globally. In addition to the baby boomers now becoming “of age”, [quotation marks added] other factors contributing to the larger numbers of elderly, are the advances in the fields of medicine and in technology. It was not too long ago that the average life expectancy was around “45 years of age in 1900”, according to Chop and Robnett (1999), “increasing to 76 years in 1990”(p. 48). Because dementia is more commonly diagnosed in the elderly, we will be experiencing an increase in numbers of diagnoses. This doesn’t necessarily mean that a greater percentage of the elderly are being affected by dementia, but more likely that this is a...
tracking img