What exactly is dementia?
A disease process that gradually causes more and more brain damage over time leads to dementia. When neurons (nerve cells) in the brain that were formerly healthy stop functioning, lose their connections with other brain cells, and eventually die, dementia signs and symptoms appear. While everyone loses some neurons as they become older, dementia patients lose a lot more neurons.
Dementia is a syndrome marked by a decline in cognitive functions (thinking, remembering, and reasoning), as well as behavioral skills. It is typically chronic or progressive in nature. This loss affects a person’s daily activities and existence to such an extent that it interferes with their life. Memory, language proficiency, visual perception, problem-solving, self-management, and the capacity for concentration and focus are some of these abilities. The decline in social behavior, motivation, or emotional control is frequently seen in conjunction with, and occasionally comes before, the impairment in cognitive function, and personalities may change. These issues arise as a result of injured or destroyed nerve cells (neurons) in regions of the brain important in cognitive function. Nobody’s consciousness is impacted.
Although dementia is more prevalent as people age (up to 50% of all adults age 85 or older may have some kind of dementia), it is not a typical aspect of aging. Numerous individuals reach their 90s and beyond without exhibiting any dementia symptoms.
A severe neurological illness called dementia frequently includes behavioral problems and psychiatric issues. Diagnoses are frequently challenging, particularly in the early stages, and caregivers may feel worn out and baffled. There is currently no cure for dementia, which is a degenerative condition. However, a diagnosis of dementia does not spell doom. The quality of life can be greatly preserved with the aid of excellent management and a supportive atmosphere. The prognosis of the illness depends critically on early diagnosis and treatment.
People with dementia develop the disease at different rates. Dementia signs and symptoms typically worsen with time. The rate at which the disease advances may depend on a variety of factors, including the dementia’s underlying etiology, age, general health, and genetics.
Different phases of dementia influence treatment and have various effects on health. Sometimes the stages will overlap. At some points, symptoms could emerge and disappear, while other health impacts might steadily deteriorate.
Depending on the severity of the disease and the person’s characteristics prior to getting sick, dementia has a distinct impact on each individual.
As per the World Health Organization, the signs and symptoms linked to dementia can be understood in three stages:
Dementia cannot be diagnosed by a single test. Instead, doctors use a number of techniques and instruments to aid in making a diagnosis, frequently with the assistance of specialists like neurologists and geriatricians.
To determine whether a patient has a treatable underlying illness like aberrant thyroid function, normal pressure hydrocephalus, or a vitamin shortage that may be related to cognitive issues, clinicians must determine whether they have dementia. It’s crucial to identify symptoms as soon as possible because some reasons are treatable. The precise form of dementia a person has is frequently not identified until after the individual has passed away and the brain has been studied.
The National Institute on Ageing; which is a Division of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-dementia-symptoms-types-and-diagnosis), states that a medical assessment for dementia generally includes:
Asking about if dementia runs in the family, how and when symptoms started, changes in behavior and personality, and whether the individual is taking any drugs that could cause or exacerbate symptoms are typical inquiries concerning a person’s medical and family history.
Medical professionals may be able to identify diseases that could lead to or co-occur with dementia by checking blood pressure and other vital signs. Some illnesses might be curable.
Examining one’s balance, sensory perception, reflexes, and other cognitive abilities enables one to spot illnesses that could alter a diagnosis or require medication treatment. Other procedures are also used to diagnose dementia. These are:
- Laboratory tests
- Genetic tests
- Psychiatric evaluation
- Cognitive and neuropsychological tests
- Brain scans such as Computed tomography (CT), Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET)
Dementia diagnosis necessitates a thorough and in-depth medical examination. Although doctors can usually tell if a patient has dementia, pinpointing the exact reason can be challenging. The patient may need to complete the necessary tests and examinations over the course of several days or weeks, and the doctor may need additional time to interpret the results and establish a diagnosis.
For seniors with dementia of early stage, Alpha Elite Assisted Living Home offers a specialist dementia care programme with a team consisting of Occupational therapists who are experienced in dementia care or neurodegenerative diseases and skilled nurses. The Alpha Elite Assisted Living Home Dementia Care Plan provides comprehensive, person-centered care that is personalized to the resident’s needs and ensures quality of life while managing the symptoms of dementia. The Alpha Elite Assisted Living Home dementia care plan is based on international best practices that are supported by evidence. It emphasizes the individual as well as the illness.
We spend the time necessary to get to know each individual who is living with dementia personally. We urge the family to share their loved one’s preferences, daily routines, and any challenging behaviors that they may display as a result of their condition as soon as they are admitted. This data is examined by our skilled staff members, who then include it in the personalized care plan used to direct daily caregiving. Taking care of someone who has dementia can frequently be difficult. Simple chores like taking a shower or eating a meal become especially challenging. To provide the greatest level of care in the most comfortable setting for persons living with dementia, our team employs evidence-based practices as below.
Our aim at Alpha is to help every senior with dementia feel emotionally well. We think that if the older person is happy, everything from symptoms to stage management can be a lot better. Additionally crucial is the development of a holistic care strategy that can concentrate on an elder’s social, emotional, cognitive, nutritional, spiritual, and personal needs in addition to the neurological and medical aspects of dementia.
The staff must get to know each resident well in order to implement a person-centered care plan. They must comprehend each resident’s choices and preferences and provide them the freedom to make their own decisions. PCC begins even before any senior citizen enters an Alpha residence. Our staff tries to comprehend the ideal way to duplicate the elder’s existence and lifestyle in an Alpha Elite Assisted Living Home. Everything needs to be thought through and arranged, starting with gathering a thorough personal background, setting up their room, providing their first meal upon arrival, and the first night they stay here. Each resident receives a unique dementia care plan based on their personal histories, stage of dementia, preferences, current skill sets, and care requirements.
We recognise that leaving one’s home might be challenging. Families receive assistance from our team of specialists and guidance throughout the whole process as they make this decision. To have a genuine sense of what care at Alpha Elite Assisted Living Home entails, families are
invited to engage in open dialogue and spend time at Alpha Elite Assisted Living Home residences. We place the biggest attention on the elderly’s transition and moving-in period because, if not handled properly, a change of setting can be unsettling. Our care staff guides the family through this time and aids in a smooth transition.
Our residences are taken care of by a skilled professional team.Each employee (caregiver, supporter, or executive) completes basic dementia care training, which covers the clinical picture, symptoms, communication, and fundamental management techniques for difficult behaviors. Managers of our facilities and our nurses are expected to complete advanced training in addition to regular training. Alpha Elite Assisted Living Home provides our facility managers and nurses with dementia training that meets worldwide standards.
For seniors with dementia of any kind and at any stage, Alpha Elite Assisted Living Home offers a specialist dementia care program. We can better teach personnel to create care objectives according to stage by understanding the type of dementia and determining its stage using standardized methods. Although stage progression can be effectively slowed down by appropriate management, advanced levels must eventually be reached. Making sure they are at ease, pain-free, and surrounded by a lot of warmth, love, and care is crucial.
Activities and meaningful interaction can significantly enhance dementia patients’ quality of life. It is crucial to pick the appropriate activities while taking into account both their interests and existing skill sets. Every day of the week, we attempt to arrange a variety of activities, whether they be cognitive, sensory, motor and physical. These activities involve routine housework like cooking, or employing music and dolls for solace and chat. The elderly with dementia need ongoing encouragement to lead as normal a life as they can. Our care staff develops innovative and significant concepts for the various sets of activities in order to promote such behavior. This is beneficial for their general wellbeing. Additionally, we witness them enthusiastically taking part with big smiles and open hearts.
Dealing with challenging behaviors including agitation, anger, anxiety, roaming, suspiciousness, etc. is a major problem for dementia caregivers. How to speak with a person who has dementia is one of the first skills we teach our team. We learn to recognise the causes and possible interpretations of challenging behaviors because they occur for a reason. Our aim is to control such behaviors without the use of drugs. Sometimes something as basic as playing music at the proper time can make a big difference. Altering the surroundings or switching the caregiver, can be very helpful.
Depending on where dementia is in its progression, different nutrients may be needed. In addition to recognizing individual preferences, having a distraction-free atmosphere, using the proper tableware and cutlery, and providing the appropriate level of support are all important aspects of nutrition in dementia. We eventually switch to pre-mixed food to make it simpler to swallow or to reduce the visual clutter of different foods on a plate. While healthy nutrition is carefully considered, food also plays a role in engagement, as a method to improve mood and keep people engaged.
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