What You Should Know about Dementia

End-of-Life Care

What You Should Know about Dementia

Dementia according to the WHO, is a syndrome, wherein the individual afflicted with the condition undergoes a progressive deterioration of their cognitive functions which primarily includes the inability to process thought. It is worrisome because a person with dementia experiences a loss of their mental functions at a faster pace than expected along with the lifespan. 

Cognitive functions that are affected include memory impairment, ability to engage in a clear line of thinking, orientation, learning ability, retention of information and language along with erratic social behavior, and loss of control over one’s emotions. 

This illness affects every person in a different manner. The signs and symptoms of dementia are distributed across three stages, are as follows:

Early Stage:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Losing temporal sense
  • Experiencing a sense of being lost in familiar places such as the park, community stores, etc.

Middle Stage:

  • Inability to remember or recollect names, places, and dates based on earlier retention ability.
  • Experiencing a stronger sense of feeling lost at their own houses, or care facilities
  • Inability to communicate as they begin to lose their train of thought and sense of date and events and people.
  • Individuals in the middle stage start to indicate a need for help with personal care.
  • Wandering off and repeatedly asking similar questions.

Late Stage: 

  • Total loss of sense of time and place
  • Difficulty in recollecting family and friends
  • Increased need for assistance with self-care
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Loss of emotional control and often showing aggression due to the inability to remember things. 

Reference:

World health organization. 2020. Dementia. [Online].  Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dementia [Accessed on 18 April 2021]. 

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