What is Dementia?
The word dementia comes from the Latin de meaning “apart” and mens from the genitive mentis meaning “mind”. Dementia is the progressive deterioration in cognitive function – the ability to process thought (intelligence). Progressive means the symptoms will gradually get worse. The deterioration is more than might be expected from normal aging and is due to damage or disease. Damage could be due to a stroke, while an example of a disease might be Alzheimer’s.
Dementia is a non-specific syndrome in which affected areas of brain function may be affected, such as memory, language, problem solving and attention. Dementia, unlike Alzheimer’s, is not a disease in itself. When dementia appears the higher mental functions of the patient are involved initially. Eventually, in the later stages, the person may not know what day of the week, month or year it is, he may not know where he is, and might not be able to identify the people around him. Dementia is significantly more common among elderly people. However, it can affect adults of any age.
What are the symptoms of dementia?
- Memory loss – the patient may forget his way back home from the shops. He may forget names and places. He may find it hard to remember what happened earlier on during the day.
- Moodiness – the patient may become more and more moody as parts of the brain that control emotion become damaged. Moods may also be affected by fear and anxiety – the patient is frightened about what is happening to him.
- Communicative difficulties – the affected person finds it harder to talk read and/or write.
As the dementia progresses, the patient’s ability to carry out everyday tasks diminishes and he may not be able to look after himself.
In the majority of cases dementia is incurable. Researchers are making inroads into treatments that may slow down dementia’s progress. Cholinestaerase inhibitors are frequently administered during the early stages. Cognitive and behavioral therapies may also be useful. Several studies have found that music therapy helps patients with dementia. It is important to remember that the patient’s caregiver also needs training and emotional support.
Contact Pure Home Care Services at (586) 293-2457 today! If you live in West Bloomfield Township or the surrounding area, we can help you care for your loved ones.