Dementia awaress essay
1.The word dementia describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease or a series of strokes.The term ‘dementia’ is often misunderstood and some people use the terms ‘senile’, ‘dementia’ and ‘Alzheimer’s’ interchangeably, thinking that they are one and the same thing.
2.Key functions of the brain that are affected by dementia.The brain, along with the spinal cord, makes up the central nervous system, and it is this that controls all of our body’s functions. The brain is made up of cells an within the brain there are billions of nerve cells that are known as neurons. These neurons communicate with each other and with other parts of the body by sending messages (impulses) via a system of nerve pathways. Chemical and electrical signals are necessary in controlling bodily functions ie language, decision-making, memory, personality, behavior, sensing and interpreting our environment, and controlling muscle movements. If the neurons and synapses of the brain become damaged by dementia they may have difficulty or be unable to carry the messages that tell the sections of the brain what to do. Depending on the area of the brain affected, this can result in changes to the way the individual thinks, or may result in physical impairments, personality and behavioral changes or the inability to perform certain functions.
3.If a person shows signs of cognitive impairment, it should not automatically be assumed that they have dementia. There are other conditions that have similar symptoms to those of dementia. Depressions is a common condition which can be triggered by lifes events and can be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. A person who is suffereing from depression can show similarsymptoms to a person who has dementia. Depession can effect concentration, motivation and ability to manage everyday tasks. Delirium can also be mistaken as dementia, Delirium can deveopl quickly and is isually reversable. People have hallucinations, delusions, probles thinking or serve confusion. Some of the causes include dehydration, pain, low blood sugar level or a chest/urinary infection.
4.Medical model relates to clinical approach ie. how the changes occur within the brain, managing the condition with medication, etc
Dementia as a clinical syndrome is characterized by global cognitive impairment, which represents a decline from previous level of functioning, and is associated with impairment in functional abilities and, in many cases, behavioral and psychiatric disturbances.
5.Social model is more about the person, how it affects individuals. The social model of care seeks to understand the emotions and behaviors of the person with dementia by placing him or her within the context of his or her social circumstances and biography. By learning about each person with dementia as an individual, with his or her own history and background, care and support can be designed to be more appropriate to individual needs.
6.People who have dementia should be view as a disability because they are not aware of requirements for living. They can forget to do the essential things that are vital. Taking medicines, hygiene and even eating are often forgotten. They can get lost or hurt and not understand what is necessary to correct a situation. Turning on the stove or water and forgetting to turn it off, locking doors, crossing streets etc, this can be dangerous even deadly. In the same way you would not think as an infant incapable of self care a person with dementia can not be either. Considering the facts that they cannot act in the manner of a responsible adult makes them disabled.
7.Dementia is not a single disease in itself, but a general term to describe symptoms such as impairments to memory, communication and thinking.
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