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Dementia Awareness

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Unit 4222 - 237

Dementia Awareness

Learning outcomes:

1 Understand what dementia is
2 Understand key features of the theoretical models of dementia
3 Know the most common types of dementia and their causes
4 Understand factors relating to an individuals experience of dementia

Resources
Information and research on different forms of dementia

Outcome 1

Write a definition of the term ‘dementia’. O1.1

Dementia is the significant loss of mental/ intellectual ability that is severe enough to interfere with social or occupational functioning, which is long lasting.

An important part of the brain is the cerebral hemisphere, this is split into 4 main components or lobes, on the table below explain the function of each lobe and also how this can affect an individual with dementia. O1.2

Lobe
Function
Affects on individual with dementia
Occipital Lobe
Deals primarily with processing visual information from the eyes.
Perception

Someone with dementia may struggle to see what an object is, despite their eyes being in perfect working order.
Temporal Lobe
Involved in memory and language.
Responsible for vision, hearing and learning

The dominant temporal lobe is specialised for verbal (word-based) memory and the names of objects, while the non-dominant temporal lobe is used for our memory of visual (non-verbal) material, such as faces or scenes.
In Alzheimer 's disease it is the episodic memory that is most commonly damaged
Frontal Lobe
The 'executive ' or 'management ' centre;
Planning actions and learning tasks,

Motivation,

Regulation of behaviour
Causes people to get 'stuck ' on what they are doing (known as 'perseveration '), Many multi-stage tasks, such as cooking and shopping, become very difficult because the pattern, or plan of action, has been lost,
Causes individuals to become lethargic, tired, spend more time in bed, this part of the brain helps to monitor, control and moderate our behaviour, individuals that have dementia can lose their inhibitions, be rude and act out of character.
Parietal Lobe
Concerned with information about spatial relationships, perception and magnitude. Also responsible for sensory information from the body, also where letters are formed, putting things in order and spatial awareness

The person may have difficulty: recognizing where objects or people are in the environment, performing tasks which require manipulation of objects or of his own body performing simple arithmetic calculations. responding to a request to walk or to move a part of her body.
Crutch, S. (2010).

Explain why depression, delirium and age related memory impairment can be mistaken for dementia. O1.3

1. With severe depression individuals struggle to retain any new information, find it hard to focus and can become aggressive or withdrawn. Symptoms of depression can be similar to symptoms viewed in an individual with Alzheimer’s, but depression can be treated with antidepressants and time. Symptoms in depression can therefore become less severe as the treatment takes effect.

2. Delirium can be mistaken for dementia as it can affect how an individual thinks and rationalises things. Individuals can become confused, hallucinate and lose their ability to function and communicate properly. Hallucinations and delusions are ‘very real’ to the person experiencing them, but are however short term.

3. As an individual gets older they can become confused with a minor complaint or infection such as chest infections. Age related impairment can usually be noticed when an individual is between the ages of 50-70. All aging humans will develop some degree of decline in cognitive capacity as time progresses. The basic cognitive functions most affected by age are attention and memory (Glisky, E. L. (2007)).

Outcome 2

In the spidergram below identify the ‘medical factors’ which can contribute towards dementia. O2.1

In the spidergram below identify ‘social factors’ which can contribute towards dementia. O2.2

Explain why should dementia be viewed as a disability. O2.3

Individuals with dementia often forget essential things such as eating and drinking, taking medication and basic hygiene, they therefore are not often aware of requirements for living. Dementia suffers can be forgetful so can get lost or hurt, or not understand how dangerous a situation is so can put themselves and others at risk. Individuals with dementia cannot act in the manner of a responsible adult they often become incapable of looking after themselves, which is why dementia is a disability.

-
Outcome 3

On the table below outline the most common causes of dementia, the signs and symptoms and risk factors which contribute towards dementia. O3.1, O3.2, O3.3
Causes of Dementia
Signs and Symptoms
Risk Factors

Brain blood supply interrupted (Strokes)

Sudden post-stroke changes in thinking and perception may include:
Confusion
Disorientation
Trouble speaking or understanding speech
Vision loss

Smoking,
Having a bad diet,
Excessive alcohol consumption,
Obesity,
An unhealthy lifestyle,

Neurodegenerative disease include Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s genetic mutation (an altered gene) from their parents

Decline in a person 's mental and, sometimes, physical abilities.
Expressive language difficulties,
Minimal problems with memory in the early stages,

Genetics
Prion diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

Some common symptoms include:
Depression
Agitation, apathy and mood swings
Rapidly worsening confusion, disorientation, and problems with memory, thinking, planning and judgment
Difficulty walking
Muscle stiffness, twitches and involuntary jerky movements

Age,

Infections (i.e. Meningitis and/or encephalitis)

Symptoms include;
Fever,
Fatigue,
Chest pain,
Dry cough,
Swelling of abdomen,
Headache,
Blurred vision and confusion.
Leading a risky lifestyle,
Having poor hygiene,
Drinking unclean water,

Brain trauma (Chronic traumatic encephalopathy)

Memory loss,
Aggression,
Confusion,
Depression

Repeated head injuries (boxers),
Athletes that play contact sports,
Accidents and Injuries.

Research at least 4 types of dementia and describe below your findings on the statistics for those of the population who are likely to be affected. O3.4

There are 800,000 people in the UK diagnosed with dementia.
Alzheimer 's disease is a degenerative condition associated with a progressive loss of nerve cells or neurons, which is known as atrophy. The disease gradually pervades most areas of the brain, following a different pattern for every sufferer. Alzheimer 's disease is the most common cause of dementia and may contribute to 60–70% of cases. Alzheimer’s is also the most common form of dementia in younger people, with around one-third of younger people with dementia having Alzheimer 's disease.
Vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia after alzheimers. Conditions such as high blood pressure, heart problems, high colestrol and diabetes can increases the chances of an individual developing vascular dementia.
Korsakoff’s Syndrome is diagnosed in about one in eight people with alcoholism. People affected with Korsakoff syndrome tend to be men between the ages of 45 and 65 years of age with a history of alcohol abuse. Women are also affected by Korsakoff syndrome but it affects them when they are younger.
Dementia with Lewy bodies accounts for around 10 per cent of all cases of dementia. Dementia with Lewy bodies is more prevelant in people over 65 years of age but in rare cases is seen in younger people. Lewy bodies appear to affect men and women equally.

Outcome 4

Complete 2 case studies on individuals with differing forms of dementia; explain what effect this condition has on the individual, their ability and disability. Look at the way that the environment may need to be adapted and the care that can be accessed. Find out and explain what resources are available for them. Explain how they are treated by others they come into contact with and describe the effects that this condition can have on their families and friends. O4.1, O4.2

Case study 1

Resident 1 is 82 and was confirmed to have late onset dementia (Alzheimer’s) in 2012 and diagnosed with advanced frontal dementia in 2013. Resident 1 therefore has very poor short and long term memory.

Resident 1 is unable to make complex decisions but can make simple decisions relating to their daily living skills. They can become distracted easily so need prompting if they lose their trail of thought. Resident 1 lives on Grace wing and is supported by two members of staff to eight residents.

Resident 1 is able to wash themselves with assistance and prompting. They have good mobility and can make simple decisions about their day to day living.

Resident 1 is very active and mobile, and moves fast on their feet. Their behaviour can be very unpredictable and they will often try and leave the building, becoming aggressive when they are unable to do so. Resident 1 can also become inappropriate at times; pinching staff bottoms, pulling faces, mimicking people and raising a fist or two fingers like a gun, and kicking the door.

Grace Wing is a secure unit with locked doors and wide corridors so the resident can walk around freely in a safe environment. There are eight residents on Grace Wing that are supported by two care staff at all times. Resident 1 needs assistance with all areas of personal care and hygiene and help choosing appropriate clothing etc for the weather.

Resident 1 has a lot of stuffed teddies in her room, which she treats like her children, wrapping them up, talking to them and putting them to bed. Resident 1 sleeps very well once in bed but can often remain awake all night. Resident 1 can overheat as they often put on several layers of clothing, including outdoor clothing such as coats and gloves. Staff therefore need to keep an eye on what the resident is wearing. The resident also suffers from low blood pressure so gets dizzy and wobbly on their feet. The resident has lost their inhibitions.

Resident 1 spends most of their time on Grace Wing with staff and other residents that have been diagnosed with dementia. People outside of Grace Wing could be frightened or unsure of an individual with dementia, they could treat them like a child or ignore them altogether.

Case study 2

Resident 2 is 90 years old and has been diagnosed with Vascular Dementia. Resident 2 has very poor short and long term memory and understands simple instructions. Resident 2 lives on the Grace wing and is supported by a ratio of two members of staff to eight residents, twenty four hours a day.

Resident 2 has very poor eyesight due to Macular Degeneration so requires assistance from staff to move around. Resident 2 has all their meals and drinks provided for them, served in a way to ensure the resident remains as independent as possible. For example all their meals are served on lipped plates and drinks are served in brightly coloured cups.

Grace wing is a secure, separate unit designed for residents with dementia. The unit has wider corridors and is shaped so residents can walk continuously without coming across a locked door. All toilet seats on Grace Wing all red to assist residents to see and recognise toilets.

Resident 2 suffers from hallucinations, and can become verbally aggressive and argumentative and not listen to instructions. The residents can become stressed so it is best to give them space to calm down. Grace Wing allows staff to keep an eye on residents, while allowing residents a sense of space.

Families and friends can experience feelings of guilt, grief, a sense of loss and anger when someone they love is diagnosed with dementia. Families and friends can experience grief and loss if someone close to them is diagnosed with dementia. They are faced with the loss of the person they used to know and the relationship they used to share. Families and friends of individuals with the dementia have to watch their loved ones loose their memories and have their personalities change.

Friends and family can feel guilt at feeling angry or embarrassed by the individual with dementias behaviour. They can also experience guilt if they are not caring for the person at home, or not supporting the individual enough.

Resident 2 family stopped taking them out as their dementia and confusion got worse and the resident found it too stressful to leave the building. Resident 2s family visits regularly and have occasional meals with the resident in the conservatory downstairs.

Individuals with dementia need a lot of support, patience and assistance, but their families and friends need it to. It is important to ensure that individuals with dementia maintain a sense of being a person in the face of failing mental powers (Nolan, Moonie & Lavers, 2005). A person centred approach is vital as it places great value on the social, emotional and identity needs of each unique individual.

References

Crutch, S. (2010). The brain and behaviour. Retrieved from the Alzheimers Society website: http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=114

Glisky, E. L. (2007). Brain Aging: Models, Methods, and Mechanisms. Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Riddle DR, editor.

Nolan, Y., Moonie, N., & Lavers, S. (2005). Health & Social Care (Adults) NVQ Level 3. Oxford: Heinemann

Bibliography

Alzheimer’s Society website

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References: Crutch, S. (2010). The brain and behaviour. Retrieved from the Alzheimers Society website: http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=114 Glisky, E Nolan, Y., Moonie, N., & Lavers, S. (2005). Health & Social Care (Adults) NVQ Level 3. Oxford: Heinemann Bibliography

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