Dementia in old age is a challenge for older people.
Have you ever watched the movie ‘Finding Dory’ with your kids or younger siblings?
You must have remembered that Dory was suffering from short term memory loss disorder. So, this very theme of forgetfulness is not fantasy.
It is very much real and very much there in our lives. We all forget a lot of things in our day-to-day activities. Some forgetfulness is very normal in young children and adults.
Even some lapses of forgetfulness is quite normal in older people too. It happens with all of us in our lives.
Some kinds of forgetfulness when becomes repetitive, severe and damaging social activities and daily routine of older people then it is a warning sign for all around them.
We forget dates of important meetings, or anniversaries of our spouses which is also not considered normal as per their perception. Well this is kind of a joke.
Dementia is a medical name of forgetfulness that is age-related and interferes brain functioning that is responsible for memory retaining and feeding details in mind to use at proper time, place and situation.
But in Dementia, older people forget repeatedly, they lose interest in daily live routines, they become listless.
Moreover, they do not want to be social, if they happen to meet someone, they talk same old conversation again and again.
Sometimes, they seem to be very anxious and depressed also.
One factor is brain cells are getting old, and there is no formation of new brain cells because older people do not tend to use their brains as active as they used to do when they were young, or working or going out daily to hang out with friends.
Second factor is changing hormone levels in the body affecting parts of the brain.
Third factor is decreased blood flow to brain that happens in the old age.
It is very common reason for older people to experience changes in their brain functioning and their ability to focus, concentrate and remember important information.
The most common symptom of dementia is losing memory.
This is the first warning sign that appears within 6 months to 1-year time bracket to people around elderly people who can tell that their father or grandmother is not remembering anything and losing memory gradually.
The process of losing memory is very slow and gradual. Therefore, sometimes patient does not figure out that he is losing his memory.
People suffering with dementia also face difficulty in finding words, or to speak fluently.
They start to stammer or repeat same words again and again which makes listeners agitated as patient is also feeling pain of not be that communicative as before.
They lose the ability to make correct judgements.
They cannot understand simple information that involves logic and judgement.
They become adamant and stubborn on the same view point and tells people that they are right and do not want to change their viewpoint.
They lose their understanding about abstract concepts and abstract thinking about life, relationships, right or wrong or any other concept that is not tangible.
Dementia affects their logical, critical and intellectual skills.
A person could be suffering from dementia if he/she is exhibiting all the above mentioned symptoms again and again.
When these changes become severe, pervasive and aggressive in the person who is suffering from dementia then it is a sign to call a professional.
There are variety of treatments available for treating dementia that is age-related.
Some treatments involve such drugs and medicines that recover the lost data of mind and improve brain functioning of the patient.
Some treatments have outstanding results on the patients.
But unfortunately, some patients do not feel much improvement if their disease is chronic, and severe.
People suffering from dementia needs support and counselling from a professional as well as from people that love them.
They need to be listened with patience and their medicines should not be missed.
People should volunteer their time to help dementia-patients like taking them out, or paying their bills, doing their laundry and much more.
Dementia can be improved by taking medicines and also by indulging in activities that require involvement of brain, like reading newspaper or magazines.
Some one can also start a project at home like gardening, or organizing their racks and kitchen counters.
Untreated dementia can lead to more severe and life-threatening medical condition called Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer is not treatable but can be managed.
It is better to seek medical help or call an ambulance in case of an emergency to reach hospital and get proper diagnosis and treatment for dementia in elder people.
You can read more about Dementia here.