April 18, 2013
The 3 D’s in Geriatrics
After attending a workshop given by Diana Hoffman, L.S.W.A. called “The 3 D’s with Geriatrics: Dementia, Delirium and Depression,” I have gained a deeper understanding of the disorders. Beginning with dementia, it affects the ability of the brain that thinks, processes and stores information. Having dementia can result in changes in mood. Dementia patients can have hallucinations and trouble focusing. They often find it difficult to perceive distances, leading to losing their way in an otherwise familiar territory or even falling. They find it difficult to complete ordinary tasks such as grocery shopping. Those working with patients having dementia find it challenging, but at times very rewarding. It is helpful to know patients’ past experiences, lifestyles, or occupations as they will talk about these topics randomly and sometimes thoroughly. These types of patients can be very loving, depending on how they react to the disorder. Those with dementia have memory problems although they are not aware that they do. Dementia is not curable and can be fatal as patients forget how to eat and their body begins to shut down. There are syndromes connected with dementia such as Agnosia, Apraxia, Amnesia, Aphasia, and Executive Dysfunction. There are also several types of dementia such as Mild Cognitive Impairment, Vascular, Mixed, and Lewy Bodies Dementia. The speaker stated that dementia is not often misdiagnosed, but I found differing information. I found dementia can often be misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s disorder, Parkinson’s disease or another psychiatric disorder. Rather than the patient having trouble with short term memory as with Alzheimer’s, a dementia patient will struggle with executive functions such as handling complex tasks or navigation. (Retrieved from: www.lbda.org/content/form-dementia-often-misdiagnosed) Depression causes people to have sadness, hopelessness,...