While communicating with someone with MCI, dementia, and other types of memory loss can be challenging, the appropriate approaches can help bridge some of those gaps.
One of the most important aspects of ensuring the long-term care of a family member with dementia is ensuring that their primary caregiver’s needs are being met as well. Avoiding burnout is one of the most important aspects of long-term caregiving, and receiving help from family, friends, neighbors, and community members is one of the best ways to ensure this.
Marvel actor and Thor star Chris Hemsworth made headlines recently as he announced a break from acting due to the discovery that he is at higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Hemsworth carries two copies (one from each parent) of ApoE4, a gene closely linked to Alzheimer’s — which increases his risk of contracting the disease by eight to ten times.
President Ronald Reagan declared November to be National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in 1983, when around 2 million Alzheimer’s cases were observed in the United States — now, that figure sits at over 6 million. The Former US President would go on to pass away from the disease himself in 2004.
The human brain can perceive time through two methods — the capability of telling what time it is, both inherent and learned, and the internal body clock that every human has. However, the brain gets damaged by dementia, resulting in the person losing the analytical and reasoning abilities required to tell time.
Dementia is a condition that grows more severe over time. It steadily affects various parts of the brain, causing patients to lose memory, awareness of time, and even their ability to speak. However, this usually happens during the later stages of dementia when senior patients are prone to quit speaking or verbally expressing themselves.
As dementia currently has no cure, coming to terms with the diagnosis is rarely easy for anyone, and each individual’s journey will look different. Stages of dementia don’t fall into a strict set of patterns, and how each patient progresses will be unique to several factors, such as their lifestyle and medical history. One person’s symptoms may be very different from another’s. However, understanding the stages of dementia can help you better prepare for the kind of care your loved one will eventually require.
One of the leading causes of family conflict is taking care of a loved one with a chronic illness, especially someone with a progressive condition such as dementia. Sibling, relative, or spousal conflict may have a catastrophic impact on family relationships and put unnecessary stress on caregivers. According to the Committee on Family Caregiving for Older Adults, siblings were identified as the most significant cause of interpersonal stress in a survey of women caring for parents with dementia.
Today’s official numbers show that participation in late-stage dementia studies is disturbingly low compared to other major diseases. This is despite the fact there are currently no authorized medicines to reduce or stop the progression of the disorders that cause dementia. According to research by the Alzheimer’s Association, the scenario highlights the urgent need for leadership to prioritize funding in late-stage dementia research.
According to the World Health Organization’s Global status report on the public health response to dementia, only about 1 out of 4 nations globally have a national policy, strategy, or plan for assisting persons with dementia and their families. Most of these nations are located in WHO’s European Region.