Communicating with Dementia Patients
August 3, 2012
Dementia is the progressive debilitation of the cognitive function of an individual which affects their ability to properly process thought. Dementia can be brought about by the normal process of aging, or can have its onset which results in damage from a stroke, or it may be brought on because of a disease process, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Although dementia is common in the elderly, individuals of any age can be affected by this condition.
Dementia is a non-specific syndrome that affects the cognitive function of the brain. This condition can affect ones language, memory, problem solving skills, and their attention span. Dementia is a progressive condition which essentially, affects an individual’s ability to process thought in the proper manner. Although it is normally brought on due the aging process, it can also be a result of a severe stroke, or from a disease process such as Alzheimer’s Disease, HIV, AIDS, and Huntington’s Disease as well as other disease processes.
There is no cure for Dementia, however researchers believe that certain drug therapies may help to slow the progression of the syndrome during the early stages. Additionally, it has been indicated that cognitive and behavioral therapies are useful in dealing with patients with Dementia. Music therapy has also shown as an effective intervention therapy for Dementia patients. (MNT, 2009). A patient affected by Dementia may present with memory loss, often times forgetting names and places, and may find it hard to keep track of the day of the week or month. In addition, the affected patient may become extremely moody and be unable to control their emotions as the part of the brain that controls emotion progressively becomes damaged. Their moodiness may be brought on by anxiety or fear of their condition, as well as other life events. One of the...
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