According to the World Health Organization, “The number of people living with dementia worldwide is currently estimated at 47.5 million and is projected to increase to 75.6 million by 2030. The number of cases of dementia is estimated to more than triple by 2050.” Even though dementia is not a normal part of aging, faced with such devastating statistics, there is a good chance that our lives are or will be touched by the effects of dementia. However, there is help out there. In fact, the best way to attack the ravages of dementia is to simply start by understanding the needs of patients with dementia.
The following are three key areas when caring for dementia patients:
1. Physical: Many patients face the loss of control over their bodily functions. They may need assistance in using facilities or if the dementia is severe, help with incontinence issues. A loss of mobility can also occur, leading to problems walking or falling. Providing a walker or giving assistance when walking will be necessary. Problems eating and drinking because of issues with swallowing are very likely so care must be taken when providing meals and nutrition. Unfortunately, as dementia advances, so does the loss of many physical abilities.
2. Psychological: Mood swings are often a daily struggle for dementia patients. Depression is also common. When patients face challenges and changes in their way of life, emotions like fear, anxiety and anger are heightened. Sadness and hopelessness set in. They need help and support from family and caregivers and possibly medication to deal with severe depression and suicidal thoughts.
3. Social: A lack of interest in the world or emotional indifference is many times a response to advancing dementia. Loss of physical abilities ties in to a loss of energy to participate in social activities or events. The inability of some friends or family members to cope with the diagnosis can mean crucial support will be unavailable leading to even more self-imposed isolation. Caregivers can provide strategies to engage social interest, activity and help promote a positive sense of well-being.
For more information on dementia and Best Care Home Health Agency, contact us.