Dementia is a condition that that is characterized by various symptoms which in turn leads to gradual and often long-term decline in the capacity to think and remember or loss of memory. Dementia affects a person’s daily life, and it alters or significantly decreases the quality of life. Alzheimer’s disease ranks as the most common form of dementia. It typically attacks older people, and it leads to loss of memory and distortion of language and impairs communication. Other forms of dementia include frontotemporal dementia that ranks among the least forms of dementia, vascular dementia, and Lewy body dementia. Although one person can possess more than one type of dementia, it is less likely to be genetic or running in the family. The cure for dementia is not known yet, but there are quite a number of efforts that can prevent the condition. They include decreasing risk factors like smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. Most of the forms of dementia are progressive and often occur slowly, which means it takes a long time to be clearly exhibited.
The late-life dementia risk index precisely stratified older adults into those with low, moderate, and high risk of developing dementia. This tool could be used in clinical or research settings to target prevention and intervention strategies toward high-risk individuals (Barnes, Covinsky, Whitmer, Kuller, Lopez, & Yaffe 2009). Recent developments in the understanding of its exhibition, cause, and appropriate interventions have been carried out. To stimulate perceptive functioning and objectivity among older adults, public health involvement requires enabling both early detection and management of this particular condition. The accessibility of adult day care and relief services is essential to upholding the quality of life and the health of the persons who are offering care for older adults with dementia. Latest developments in the cure of dementia may also slow the development of mental deterioration, thus improving the quality of life of the elderly people who suffer from dementia as well as reducing costs that are associated with institutional care. Regardless of the increasing availability of pharmacological and psychosocial interventions that are possibly supportive to the dementia patients and their caregivers, most of older adults suffering from dementia do not receive proper treatment. While depression and cognitive impairment are vital concerns in the treatment of older adults, there are specific risks when these conditions occur together. Suitable screening and assessment can help in directing the doctors to proper and well-timed interventions. Pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatment methods are both efficient in decreasing depression in cognitive impairment and dementia as well (Potter, G.G., & Steffens, D.C. 2007).
A huge number of older persons are living in the community with unnoticed dementia. These older people are subjected to a significant risk of accidents, prescription inaccuracies, and economic problems. As precautionary approaches are established and new perceptive enhancing therapies develop, we need to reconsider the current procedures about screening for cognitive impairment in older adults (Sternberg, Wolfson & Baumgarten 2000). A better understanding of psychiatric conditions and illnesses among older adults is of vital significance to public health. The main task of caring for elderly patients of dementia in acute care, therefore, needs special and careful attention. Providing care to older persons with dementia in an institutional setting, gives care staff an exceptional task. The most unfortunate part is that quite a number of hospitals are not well equipped or designed to care for people who have cognitive impairments. As a result, there are many concerns about the safety of the patients as well as a rise in the burden of care that is provided to these patients.
In order to attain the best practice standards of care for the elderly people with dementia, it is essential to provide particular or special care for people with chronic confusion to be combined with severe or critical care practices. Adequate research should also be carried out by professional health practitioners in order to make clear and timely decisions about the kind of care for elderly people with dementia. Organizations such as the Alzheimer’s society should also provide practice guidelines and should be able to identify knowledge gaps that require further study in order to come up with comprehensive care recommendations and procedures for the older adults suffering from this condition. There have been new guidelines in the recent past to help care staff support the elderly people who are living with dementia. These guidelines offer support for the extensive series of services that such people might require. With this condition unlikely to heal, it is important to take into consideration the long-term care support for these patients too. The environment in which these patients are being taken care of should be conducive and equipped to handle such patients. Incorporating technology is also essential for the patients who are acutely ill.
When providing care for elderly people with cognitive impairments, there are some major themes that should be taken into consideration. The primary concerns that should be considered include; the importance of early detection and assessment. The knowledge and attitude of the caregivers or the nursing staff is also crucial in the management of people with dementia. Such themes provide grounding for further research and also the development of guidelines that address the unique needs of the older people with dementia who are undergoing treatment. The increase of dementia cases among older adults is as a result of the aging population. Therefore, the adults who are suffering from this condition are also at a higher risk of suffering from acute confusion. As the condition impairs the ability of a person to express information and understand or plan and solve problems, the nurses or caregivers’ attitudes at this time proof to be of great significance. Further dementia-related impairments for instance memory loss, as well as the hospital setting and acute illness also tend to aggravate communication problems that in turn lead to disruptive behaviors.
Older adults who suffer from dementia have special needs and requirements. Therefore, if I get to work with such patients in future, I will pay close attention to these needs in order to timely identify what the patient wants. Disruptive behaviors such as agitation, aggression, and restlessness as well as repeating things with a change in tone and exhibition of urgency may indicate unmet needs of the patient. Older adults who are cognitively impaired appear to be more comfortable when a family member participate in every aspect of their care. For this reason, I may consider incorporating family members when working with such clients. Because there is no known cure for any form of dementia yet, I will insist on sufficient care, understanding and support as the ultimate strategy to make those patients who are suffering from any form of dementia feel comfortable and also make their life easier. It is often not easy to provide this kind of support because of the impairments that characterize this condition. But various formulations have been set up in order to ensure that those people who provide care to older adults with dementia do it with ease and some level of care that the condition requires.
Barnes, D. E., Covinsky, K. E., Whitmer, R. A., Kuller, L. H., Lopez, O. L., & Yaffe, K. (2009). Predicting risk of dementia in older adults. Neurology, 73(3), 173-179.
Sternberg, S.A., Wolfson, C., & Baumgarten, M. (2000). Undetected dementia in community dwelling older people. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 48(11), 1430-1434.
Potter, G.G., & Steffens, D.C. (2007). Contribution of depression to cognitive impairment and dementia in older adults. Neurologist, 13(3), 105-117.