Unit 40 Dementia

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Dementia is not a specific illness. It 's an overall term that describes a range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to cut a person 's ability to do everyday activities. Alzheimer disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. Vascular dementia, which occurs after a stroke, is the second most common dementia type. Dementia is often incorrectly referred to as "senility" or "senile dementia," which reflects the formerly widespread but incorrect belief that serious mental decline is a normal part of aging. The condition is progressive and worsens over time; in the later stages, people with dementia become unable to carry out everyday activities and find it difficult to convey their thoughts and feelings. As the symptoms become more profound, they…show more content…
Going through this uncertainty and confusion often causes people to retreat to the safety of established memories, and they begin to lose awareness of the world around them. Nurses and other care givers who have never met these behaviors before often do not know how to respond when a person with dementia asks difficult questions, such as requesting to see a mother who has passed away. It can also be difficult to know how to reply if they believe they need to go to work or collect children from school. It is important to remember, in the later stages communication is most challenging, that continuing to interact with the person who has dementia is more important than ever. The first thing to remember when talking to people with dementia is to keep things simple. For example, speak slowly and distinctly, using clear and simple words. Use real names for people and objects, rather than words like “she”, “it” or “them”, as this makes conversations easier to follow. Understanding the meaning behind certain behaviors will enable you to find solutions to help people with dementia cope with what they are

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