12 Minutes

Edited & clinically reviewed by THE BALANCE Team
Fact checked

Dementia is a phrase that refers to a set of symptoms that affect your reasoning, memory, and social competence to the point where they impede your regular activities. Dementia isn’t caused by a single disease, but it can be caused by a number of them. Memory loss is a common symptom of dementia, but it can be caused by a variety of factors. Memory loss isn’t always a marker of dementia, however, it is generally one of the first symptoms.

  • Dementia primarily affects the elderly, yet cases that begin before the age of 65 are becoming more well-known.
  • There are now around 55 million individuals living with dementia across the globe. By 2050, the number of persons affected is expected to rise to 139 million, with low- and middle-income nations experiencing the biggest increases.
  • Dementia affects 60 percent of adults in poor and middle income nations, but this number will climb to 71 percent by 2050.
  • Every three seconds, a new instance of dementia emerges somewhere on the planet.
  • Up to 3/4 of people with dementia in the globe have never been diagnosed.
  • Nearly 80 percent of the general populace is worried about having dementia at some point, and one out of every four people believes there is little that can be done to avoid dementia.
  • About 62 percent of healthcare professionals around the world wrongly believe that dementia is a natural component of ageing.
  • Around the world, 35 percent of caregivers say they have kept a family member’s dementia diagnosis a secret.
  • Even while having favorable feelings about their position, more than half of all care givers claim their health has suffered as a result of their caring responsibilities.
  • In 2015, the total annual expense of dementia treatment was US$ 818 billion, or 1.09 percent of global GDP at the time. Dementia’s yearly global cost has surpassed US$ 1.3 trillion and is anticipated to reach US$ 2.8 trillion by 2050.
  • Formal medical care costs account for around 20 percent of worldwide dementia expenditures, while informal and social sector care costs contribute for approximately 40 percent each. Informal care contributes the most in African countries and the least in Western Europe, North America and some South American regions, although social sector expenditures are the opposite.

Numerous factors determine care decisions and outcomes when it comes to dementia treatment.

Early detection is critical for successful treatment.

Dementia symptoms increase over time, indicating they get worse. However, an early diagnosis increases the likelihood that your loved one may benefit from treatment. That’s why, if you observe changes in your loved one’s behavior or cognition, you should seek medical attention. Knowing what’s producing your loved one’s complaints early can help them receive the treatments and attention they need.

Medication isn’t curative, and it isn’t appropriate in every situation.

Medication — patches, actual pills, or any kind of medication — is only 2 percent of what we’re doing for somebody with dementia right now and the other 98 percent is non-medication.

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It is also recommended that any medicines be reviewed frequently. The endeavor is to slowly taper off these medications. If the meds aren’t effective for your dear one or aren’t giving enough benefits to offset the negative effects.  The fewer pills you take, the lower your risk of adverse effects and the healthier people feel.

You are not alone, and your desires are important as well.

Families and caregivers are going through something similar.  advised that the caregivers seek out various options of help, such as support groups or respite care, and to prepare ahead. As dementia worsens, your loved one may want more assistance than you can supply. Knowing your regional memory care options and making care plans ahead of time protects both you and your dear one.

Dementia produces cognitive impairment, which causes learning and memory problems. Dementia patients may lose track of how things work and where beds and belongings are situated, confusing. Environmental changes can assist people with dementia deal with these issues. Staircase and bathrooms, for instance, should be well-lit, and light switches should be easily accessible. Labeling on cupboards and doors that are easy to find can assist patients in interacting with things and their surroundings. Adding handrails in corridors and stairwells, placing grab rails in bathrooms, and removing mats, rugs, and trash from the floor are just a few measures to assist reduce falls.

Dementia causes a loss of visual perception as well as a decrease in sensory sensitivity. Contrasting-colored furnishings and accessories may aid the dementia patient in distinguishing between objects. People with dementia will find household goods with large screens and huge buttons to be significantly more user-friendly. Other devices remind people to take their pills or lock their doors. In dementia patients, having easy access to the outdoors has also been demonstrated to lessen agitation.

Patients with late-stage dementia are unable to conduct even the most basic tasks, such as going to the restroom and dressing. Skilled nursing and cognitive care at premium inpatient treatment for dementia are two typical long-term dementia care choices that are provided in residential facilities for dementia patients.

Assisted living could be a good option in the early stages of the disease when people have fewer medical difficulties and some difficulty completing complex daily chores. At this phase, the difficulties in everyday activities include difficulty in managing money, taking prescriptions on schedule, and completing household tasks such as cleaning and cooking. Long-term premium dementia care centers offer basic health monitoring and have professionals on hand to assist with daily routines such as dressing and bathing.

People who require specialized care may benefit from luxury cognitive care centers for dementia. Dementia care units are comparable to assisted living facilities, but they are specially built for dementia sufferers and provide a greater level of supervision. These institutions also provide dementia patients with long-term clinical services that may help to delay the progression of cognitive impairment. Dementia inpatient treatment may be available at some memory care facilities.

Lifestyle adjustments and dementia home remedies in addition to other treatment choices at upscale inpatient and residential dementia treatment centers can assure the well-being and protection of dementia patients. These are some of them:

Exercise: Physical activity can assist in slowing the progression of cognitive deterioration. It has also been demonstrated to aid in the reduction of falls as well as the symptoms of despair and anxiety. Physical activity options must be determined based on the individual’s capabilities and age.

Participating in recreational activities: Individuals with dementia should be encouraged to participate in hobbies. The activities, on the other hand, should not cause dissatisfaction or misunderstanding. Even simple actions such as listening to music can help you feel better. Social interaction-based activities should also be addressed.

Creating schedules: Dementia symptoms tend to worsen in the second half of the day, and sleep disturbances are frequently a part of this. For those with dementia and sleeping issues, limiting tea or coffee consumption to the early half of the day and minimizing midday naps may be beneficial.

Diet: A Mediterranean-style diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains may aid to prevent dementia’s onset. A diet like this could potentially assist to delay the progression of cognitive decline.

Numerous sizable dementia clinical studies evaluating therapy medications have failed, and the quest for new drugs continues. Most research has aimed at stopping the production of amyloid plaques, which cause neuronal degeneration in Alzheimer’s disease, and a few more are now being conducted. When a protein termed  Fyn engages with amyloid plaques, it causes the breakdown of neuronal synapses. Clinical trials are presently underway for a Fyn inhibitor.

There are ongoing attempts underway to find new targets besides amyloid plaques. Anti-inflammatory drugs are being investigated as a therapy for dementia in trials. Alzheimer’s disease causes mild neuroinflammation, and medications like Masitinib, which blocks inflammatory cells from activating, are currently being studied.

Dementia and insulin levels have a strong link, and those with diabetes have a higher risk of developing dementia. Insulin plays a vital role in avoiding neuronal degeneration, according to studies, and intranasal insulin sprays can improve memory. Alzheimer’s disease is being treated with a variety of medications that cause insulin release. On a larger scale, technology approaches are being employed to find markers for dementia diagnosis and therapy. The use of stem cells to restore damaged neurons is also being investigated in dementia research.

Dementia is more likely in people who use drugs or alcohol. If you have dementia symptoms as well as co-occurring addictions, contact us right away to establish a treatment plan that will work for you.

We don’t come into this world knowing how to speak with someone who has dementia, but we can learn. Improving your communication skills will make caring for a loved one less stressful and will almost certainly improve the quality of your relationship. As you care for a person with a dementing condition, good communication skills will also help you deal with the unpleasant behavior you may face.

Create a favorable environment for interaction. Your body language and attitude transmit your sentiments and thoughts more effectively than your words. Make a good impression on your loved ones by speaking to them politely and respectfully. To help convey your message and exhibit your feelings of affection, use facial expressions, tone of voice, and physical touch.

Activate the person’s interest. Reduce noise and distractions by turning off the radio or television, closing the curtains or closing the door, or moving to a calmer location. Make sure you have her attention before speaking by addressing her by name, identify yourself by name and relation, and using nonverbal clues and touch to keep her attentive. Get down on her level if she’s seated and establish eye contact.

Make your point clear. Make your words sentences as concise as possible. Slowly, clearly, and in a soothing tone, speak. Instead of raising your voice, reduce the pitch of your voice. If she doesn’t comprehend the first time, repeat your message or query using the same words. Wait a few minutes and ask the question again if she still doesn’t comprehend. Rather than pronouns (they, she, or he), just use names of individuals and things.

Pose easy-to-answer questions. Pose one appropriate question at a time; yes/no questions are the most effective. Avoid posing open-ended queries or providing too many options. “Would you like wearing your black shirt or your white shirt?” for instance. Even still, give her the options—visual signals and suggestions can assist clarify your inquiry and direct her response.

With your eyes, ears, and heart, pay attention. Wait patiently for your loved one’s response. It’s fine to offer words if she’s having trouble coming up with an answer. Keep an eye out for body language and nonverbal signs, and react accordingly. Always try to hear what the words mean and how they make you feel.

Activities should be broken down into several steps. Many chores become considerably more doable as a result of this. You can help your loved one by encouraging him to do what he can, softly reminding him of steps he forgets, and assisting him with ones he can no longer do on his own. Employing visual clues, like showing him where to put the meal dish with your hand, can be useful.

Distract and redirect when things get tough. If your close one becomes agitated, change the topic or the surroundings. For instance, you may ask for his assistance or advice going for a walk. Before you redirect, it’s critical to connect with the person on an emotional level. “I see you’re sad—I’m sorry you’re upset,” you could say. Let’s go grab a bite to eat.”

Respond affectionately and reassuringly. Dementia patients are frequently perplexed, apprehensive, and self-conscious. Furthermore, they are prone to getting reality mixed up and recalling events that never happened. Avoid attempting to persuade them that they are incorrect. Keep your attention on the sentiments they’re expressing (which are genuine), and soothe, support, and reassure them with verbal and physical expressions. When everything else fails, touching, holding hands, hugging, and praising the person may be enough to encourage them to respond.

Remember when things were simpler? Reminiscing on the past can be a relaxing and reassuring experience. Many persons with dementia may have no recollection of what happened 45 minutes ago, yet they might vividly recall events from 45 years ago. As a result, refrain from asking inquiries that rely on a short attention span, including what the person had for lunch. Ask generic inquiries about the person’s distant past instead; this knowledge is more likely to be remembered.

Keep a good sense of humor. When feasible, use humor, but not at the cost of the other person. Dementia patients frequently keep their social abilities and are happy to joke and laugh with you.

Physical benefits of Physical Therapy

A decrease in the risk of falling is one of the main physical benefits that physical therapy can provide to dementia patients. Regular physiotherapy sessions can typically help with postural control and gait issues, lowering the chance of fractures, falls, and other injuries.

Increased blood flow is another key advantage. Physical therapy can help to enhance circulation, which stimulates the brain and body, resulting in improved patient cognitive function.

Physical Therapy Has Emotional Benefits

One of the things that physiotherapy additional training emphasizes is that rehabilitative care must be tailored to the individual needs of clients. This is especially true when it comes to dementia patients. Why?

Simply put, patients with dementia or other forms of cognitive decline require individualized care that caters to their unique abilities and interests. As a result, physical therapists must occasionally think out of the box to integrate common objects or movements into a dementia patient’s physical treatment regimen.

The goal is to figure out what activities compel clients to participate. Looking at old images motivates some clients, while bird watching or spending time with a favorite pet motivates others. Incorporating treatment with a patient’s favorite pastime enables emotional growth and enhanced comfort.

Physical Therapy’s Social Benefits

Though it might be difficult to make a personal relationship with dementia patients, physical therapists who use their appointments as opportunities to build connections generally find excellent results. Those who are experiencing mental impairment may be able to strengthen social relationships over time with regular counseling and support.

Physical therapists who engage dementia patients with kindness and compassion generally experience excellent outcomes. Therapists can progressively help dementia sufferers feel less anxious during therapy and benefit more fully by addressing the task from the perspective of patients rather than simply following a pre-set routine.

Physical therapists can get better at what they do.

Although no two patients are alike, by pursuing education and industry development, you can make your care as regular and competent as feasible. As a therapist who works with these individuals regularly, it’s critical to understand physical dementia care as well as build tailored standards of care that address their intellectual and emotional needs.

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