Senile dementia affects a great many seniors. Find out if and how you can prevent, delay or treat it. Find out how you can take care of your own health.
How to recognize the symptoms of senile dementia?
With a certain age, the number of nerve cells begins to decrease, which contributes to a weakening of brain function. The result of this process is that it becomes difficult or impossible to recognize people in the environment and the patient’s own surroundings.
Dementia progresses slowly, which is why it usually goes unnoticed in the early stages. The elderly person forgets such trifles as where they left their keys, documents, phone, TV remote control or checking their mailbox. Later, asking the same questions and repeating one’s own statements several times in one day can be noticed.
During the next stages, the patient completely ceases to orient himself in his surroundings, does not recognize his family and friends, and begins to have problems with counting or speaking. Most often it is then that the relatives begin to suspect senile dementia. Visual and auditory hallucinations or even delusions may also appear, which no longer leave any doubt about the presence of the disease
As it progresses, the character and behavior of the patient also changes. The person begins to be anxious, because everything and everyone becomes strange, irritable, because he realizes that this condition significantly impedes his functioning. At the same time as irritability, indifference and moments of falling into numbness, or apathy, begin to appear.
How to mitigate the course of senile dementia?
For these reasons, the senior can no longer be treated as an independent person and should be under constant care. On the other hand, a person needs both closeness and patience and understanding. All of these will give him or her the sense of security that is so needed in experiencing this illness.
Keep in mind that this can become increasingly difficult over time. Attacks of aggression, screaming, malice directed at the caregiver will increase, and in between we will see episodes of lack of motivation and interest. Dementia unfortunately cannot be cured, it can only be delayed and symptoms alleviated, for example by exercising the brain. This is done through very simple activities: regular contact with other people, solving crosswords and puzzles, playing chess or board games.
You should also make sure that you get enough physical activity, sleep, and provide your body with specific nutrients such as fish and nuts. In addition, it is advisable to seek the help of specialists, such as a psychotherapist and psychiatrist, as well as a doctor, who will probably refer the patient for screening tests.
Visits to these specialists, as well as appropriate medications, will significantly improve the quality of life of the senior citizen and make it easier for him to find his way and function in the new reality. The following therapies will be particularly helpful: cognitive therapy (memory training), validation therapy (stimulating the display of correct behavior), reminiscence therapy (recalling memories of the patient’s life), and environmental and occupational therapy. All of these interventions will allow the senior to gain the peace and comfort so much needed with memory lapses beyond their control.
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