Dementia has been a topic discussed for many years now, especially with the rise of elderly population in our country. Dementia is not a disease, but rather a general term for the impaired ability to remember, think, or make decisions, which interferes with daily activities. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that affects mostly the elderly. However, it is important to note that this is not a part of our aging process. Alzheimer’s disease is known to be a progressive disease, meaning that the symptoms experienced by the patient worsens as time goes. Symptoms begin with mild memory loss and progresses into the loss of ability to carry out a proper conversation and daily activities.
Symptoms of Dementia
There are a few symptoms shown by an individual suffering with dementia. These individual would have difficulties with:
Reasoning, judgment, and problem solving
Visual perception beyond typical age-related changes in vision
Daily activities, such as getting lost in a familiar neighborhood, forgetting names of family members, and being unable to complete simple daily tasks, could indicate dementia.
What should you do?
If a family member is showing signs of dementia, there are a few things you can do. When a patient first becomes aware of their symptoms, they may experience a sense of denial. Hence, it is important to:
Do your best to advise them to seek professional help with empathy and compassion.
When the time is right, talk to them about issues concerning their safety while carrying out daily activities.
Hold family meetings to educate everyone on the situation and assign caretaking responsibilities.
What does our future hold?
Concerns about dementia have grown in tandem with the growing elderly population. There is currently no cure for the disease, only ways to maintain brain health. However, much ongoing research is being conducted to better understand human brain development and the underlying cause of dementia. Keep an eye out for any recruitment sessions for these studies, as it is critical to learn more about the disease and something we can contribute right now.
About Dementia. Division of Population Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. https://www.cdc.gov/aging/dementia/index.html
The Truth About Aging and Dementia. Division of Population Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. https://www.cdc.gov/aging/publications/features/dementia-not-normal-aging.html
Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias. Division of Population Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. https://www.cdc.gov/aging/aginginfo/alzheimers.htm
Disclaimer : This blog is only for informational and educational purposes and should not be considered therapy or any form of treatment. We are not able to respond to specific questions or comments about personal situations, appropriate diagnosis or treatment, or otherwise provide any clinical opinions. If immediate assistance is required, seek out your nearest therapy center or contact the mental health crisis hotline such as Befrienders KL (603-76272929).