Dementia is becoming a burning issue all over the world during aging.
Dementia is an acquired syndrome that damages memory, reasoning, language and other cognitive functions. The syndrome is not easy to diagnose, especially in the beginning.
General memory problems, misunderstandings and inappropriate behavior are characteristics of early developmental stages of this disease, often expected for the elderly, or as a personal trait or simply ignored.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. A broader study demonstrated the dementia in less than 3% of those 65 to 69 years old, whereas in the age group of 85 to 89 years old reached 30%.
Unfortunately there is still no effective therapy for dementia.
Family members initially have a key role in dementia care, but the complexity of this illness, family size and house layout make it difficult to help such people. So, they must be covered by social and health programs in social institutions.
Psychological problems (depression, dementia) are often denied by the elderly themselves or by the family, or are not recognized at all. These patients come to our facility in the company of their loved ones.
In an interview with relatives, elderlies are described as an amended person with mood swings that requires monitoring. Such patients complain of polymorphic symptoms, bringing with them a number of specialist reports with different diagnoses. These patients resist to visit a psychiatrist, so the diagnosis of dementia is set late.
Symptoms of dementia are forgetfulness, disorientation, difficulty in speech, behavior and mood changes. It is followed by aggressive attacks, insomnia, agitation, paranoia, hallucinations.
The main goal of occupational therapy in dementia is to maintain their current level of mental functioning, and to be able to independently perform activities of self-care.
The following objectives are placed in work with dementia customers:
- Acting on awakening, directing and maintaining attention, mood improvement
- Acting on voluntary activities (fostering perseverance in work and work habits)
- Acting on the psychosocial and psychomotor activity
- To assist in relaxation, braking and controls of inappropriate impulses or conditions.
Occupational therapists enable and encourage individuals to develop, maintain and regain the skills needed to participate in all aspects of life. They insist on the motivations and animation, to awaken the creativity that was once possessed. They also encourage them to coordinate colors, paint. They begin to adopt certain forms of conduct, looking for the accustomed activities.
The integration and inclusion have also been applied, which separates them from the demented society and fits them with other users. According to the progressive course of dementia, a further cognitive defficiency is expected. As the results show, the occupational therapy maintains the cognitive function and provides a better quality of life.