Dementia is a cognitive impairment that occurs as a result of brain damage and is progressive. As a result, patients lose their daily skills, their memory and thinking deteriorate. In everyday life, dementia is called senile marasmus or senile dementia. Most often, dementia appears after age 65, but if a person has a head injury, then there is a possibility of an earlier illness.
Causes of the disease
Alzheimer s disease;
Damage to the vessels of the neck and brain;
Pick s disease;
How dementia manifests itself
The main symptom of dementia is memory impairment. If a person begins to forget names, faces, asks about the same information several times, constantly loses his personal belongings – then this speaks of the first symptoms of dementia.
In addition to memory impairment, the following manifestations of dementia can be observed:
- Inability to think logically and solve problems;
- the patient is unable to make important decisions on his own;
- violation of speech, a person makes mistakes, forgets words, it becomes difficult for him to express his thoughts;
- visual and auditory perception is impaired. A person ceases to recognize the faces of people, what his home looks like, why are certain things needed;
- changes in behavior occur. Sharp mood swings, interests narrow, apathy appears.
Dementia has three stages:
Easy – the patient loses interest in ordinary affairs and tasks, it becomes difficult for him to communicate with people. At this stage, the person still shows independence and can take care of himself.
Moderate – it is difficult for a person to use household items without assistance, but at the same time he can dress and eat on his own.
Expressed – the patient needs round-the-clock observation, as he is disoriented and does not understand where he is, what he needs to do.
In practice, dementia is most often diagnosed at a moderate stage, when a person cannot lead a social life, take care of himself in everyday life.
Treatment is prescribed depending on the degree of the disease. In a mild form, sedatives, antidepressants, and drugs to improve brain activity are prescribed. Also, in the early stages, psychotherapy is recommended, which helps, using certain techniques, to adapt to everyday life. Thanks to correctly selected techniques, the disease process slows down.
With an average degree, the patient is prescribed drugs to protect nerve cells, means to restore memory, sedatives or sleeping pills.
If the patient has a severe degree, then in this case, drugs that stimulate brain activity and antipsychotics (with aggressive behavior and hallucinations) are used.
How to take care of the sick?
It is very difficult to care for a patient with dementia, as his well-being depends on the behavior of others. Therefore, it is necessary:
- Organize a clear and stable daily routine;
- involve the patient in family life, communication;
- regularly stimulate thinking: read, play educational games, solve problems, etc.;
- ask for a little help from the patient so that he feels needed (help set the table, take food to the kitchen, consult);
- avoid disputes;
- agree with the patient;
- do not conflict and try not to patronize him too much.
The author of the article: Testometrika Team