Stereotyping With Dementia

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Dementia is usually a progressive debilitating syndrome that changes the person’s life forever. People can have many different ways of coping with the diagnosis of dementia. These emotions can become obstacles that could hinder the patient’s progress in therapy if they are not addressed. It is important that therapists recognize what is dementia, the daily challenges their patients and family members might be dealing with when diagnosed with dementia and what skills they, as therapists, should demonstrate in the rehabilitation setting that can help their patients in a positive way. Dementia is a term used to describe the decline of brain function associated with measured loss and shrinkage of brain tissue. The mental decline is much greater …show more content…
(Livneh). “People with dementia and their families or informal caregivers indicated in an online global survey of 2500 people from 54 countries that the stereotyping associated with dementia leads to social exclusion and reluctance to seek help often causing them to conceal the diagnosis.”(Kondro). The stigma of dementia leads to more focus on what the patient can’t do instead of what they can do. This stigma applies to physicians and therapist as well. “Physicians are reluctant to make a dementia diagnosis because after hearing so, it raises the question (How long does he/she have left?)”. (Quinn). The monetary costs associated with dementia are real challenges a patient and their family members are forced to face. A journal article published in the New England Journal Medicine stated that “dementia leads to a yearly monetary cost of $41,000 to $56,000 per person.” (Hurd). Because dementia patients are more likely to have other comorbidities and their need for full time assistance, costs can quickly rise to even more. These obligations can create financial burden for the patient and caregivers. …show more content…
(O’Sullivan). These stages are characterized in scientific research. Shock is a brief initial reaction to the diagnosis. The reaction is described as mental numbness and disorganization of thoughts that can leave you speech less. (Livneh). Anxiety is the worry or fear about the magnitude of the current situation. It can result in physical stress symptoms on the body such as rapid heart rate, hyperventilation, excess perspiration, and digestive issues. (O’Sullivan). Denial is our defensive mechanism to distract us from pain and other unwanted emotions. “It includes wishful thinking, unrealistic expectations of (full or immediate) recovery, and at times, blatant neglect of medical advice and therapeutic or rehabilitation recommendations.” (Livneh). Depression is the reaction response to the realization of the final ending. “Feelings of despair, helplessness, hopelessness, isolation, and distress are frequently reported during this time.” (Livneh). Internal Anger is when a person has resentment and blame for themselves. This can reaction can lead to sabotaging ones progress. (O’Sullivan). External hostility is redirected anger toward people and things around the person. Acknowledgement and adjustment is the realization that the illness is not going away.

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