Dementia is a syndrome involving changes to the brain causing it to deteriorate resulting in differences affecting behavior, judgment, the ability to think, process information, and most often memory loss. Dementia makes everyday activities that much more difficult, and living independently almost impossible. There are many different types of dementia, around 70, some are worse than others and some types being reversible while others are not. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, accounting for nearly 60 to 80 percent of cases (Dementia).
Understanding dementia can be difficult. To put it simply, the syndrome occurs with damage to the brain cells. The damage of brain cells affects the ability to communicate with each other and when they cannot communicate, normal behaviors such as; thinking, and feelings are affected (Daniel). As stated above, one of the most common cognitive impairment occurring with dementia is memory loss. Which can be one of the identifiers when diagnosing different types of dementia. Another common behavior change is a patient’s sense of time. Dementia can at times bring people back to a certain time period causing the affected to think they are 30 years old instead of 80. In addition, they can become caught in certain moments from the past and relive emotional times in their lives. Relationships also become distorted, where they will be able to recognize a face, but not understand how they know a person. This can cause the brain to autofill information, which is why sometimes dementia patients will get confused with family members and call them the wrong name. Most often times in later stages, language can become lost, and dementia patients will not be able to find the words they are looking for so they will repeat the same phrases over and over. Eventually the brain becomes so damaged that language becomes garbled or absent and often times understanding language can become more difficult and in cases lost as well. Lastly, dementia patients lose the ability to control their emotions causing impulsive anger or happiness (Accepting the Challenge).
One of the major things to remember is that, dementia patients are doing all they can to continue to live a normal life. The people around the patients are the ones who can control their actions to have better outcomes with those affected by dementia. Caregivers and family members who create a comforting, positive, and flexible approach to those affected make it much easier to constructively work with them day to day. Also, understanding the syndrome and how the brain is affected and typical behaviors can be much more helpful when providing care.
Accepting the Challenge. Dir. Melanie Bunn and Teepa Snow. Perf. Teepa Snow. Health Professions Press, Inc., 2010. DVD.
Daniel, Chapman P., Sheree Marshall Williams, Tara W. Strine, Robert F. Anda, and Margaret J. Moore. “Dementia and Its Implications for Public Health.” Preventing Chronic Disease 3.No.2 (2006): 1-7. Print.
“Dementia | Signs, Symptoms & Diagnosis.” Alzheimer’s Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 June 2017.