Dementia

Diagnosing Dementia

What does it mean when someone is said to have dementia? For some people, the word conjures up scary images of “crazy” behavior and loss of control. In fact, the word dementia describes a group of symptoms that includes short-term memory loss, confusion, the inability to problem-solve, the inability to complete multi-step activities such as preparing a meal or balancing a checkbook, and, sometimes, personality changes or unusual behavior.

Adult Day Care for Alzheimer's: The First Day

The quiet stillness of morning had always been a soothing part of the routine Pat shared with her husband Tom. It was a private time for her to have her coffee, read the newspaper, and check emails. Tom rose a little later, made his own breakfast, and began to work at his desk. But now, with the progression of Tom’s Alzheimer’s disease, Pat counts her personal time among the many things which have slipped away. 

Books to Help Children

When Children Grieve, John W. James, Russell Friedman and Dr. Leslie Landon Matthews
To watch a child grieve and not know what to do is a profoundly difficult experience for parents, teachers, and caregivers. Yet, there are guidelines for helping children develop a lifelong, healthy response to loss.

In When Children Grieve, the authors offer a cutting-edge volume to free children from the false idea of "not feeling bad" and to empower them with positive, effective methods of dealing with loss.

 

National Consensus Report on Caregiver Assessment: Volumes I & ll

This groundbreaking two-part report from the National Center on Caregiving at Family Caregiver Alliance calls for significant improvement in health care and long-term care that relies too much on families without recognizing and assessing family caregivers' own support and health needs. Caregiver assessment is an essential component of comprehensive care for frail elders and adults with chronic or disabling conditions, particularly dementia.

Grandma doesn't remember me

How does having a family member with dementia affect children? The answer: It depends on the age of the child, the severity of the memory loss and the child’s relationship to the person with dementia. The better you understand how the disease affects your loved one, and how you handle your own process of loss and adapting to change, the better you can help your child.

Ten Real-Life Strategies for Dementia Caregiving

As caregivers, we often use intuition to help us decide what to do. No one ever gave us lessons on how to relate to someone with memory loss. Unfortunately, dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is counterintuitive; i.e., often the right thing to do is exactly opposite that which seems like the right thing to do. Here is some practical advice:

Dementia and Pain Management: A Personal Story

My father was screaming in the nursing home. The staff had tried changing any number of his medications, but nothing stopped his agitation until the physician ordered Vicodin, a strong painkiller. I called the physician and asked him to assess what might be causing my father’s pain. The physician suggested it might be arthritis. In a calm voice, I suggested that perhaps the pain was from something more serious—would he please do an evaluation? He told me that this would be hard to do since my father has dementia and can’t tell him what hurts.

Caregiving and the holidays: from stress to success!

For many caregivers the holiday season gives rise to stress, frustration and anger, instead of peace and good will.

Caregivers may feel resentful towards other family members who they feel have not offered enough assistance. Managing care for someone who has a cognitive impairment may leave caregivers feeling that they will not be able to participate as fully as they would like in family gatherings. Already feeling overwhelmed with caregiving tasks, stressed-out caregivers may view traditional holiday preparations as more of a drain of precious energy than a joy.

El cuidar durante una crisis (Caregiving During a Crisis)

Los periodos de crisis provocan reacciones emocionales y físicas en todo el mundo. Después de los eventos del 11 de septiembre muchos de nosotros nos encontrábamos distraídos, inseguros o con el sentimiento que habíamos perdido el control sobre la vida. Las emergencias, aún las que son menos catastróficas que los ataques de septiembre, producen emociones conflictivas y estrés. Los individuos con demencia también responden a las emergencias y sus reacciones pueden causar más estrés para la familia y la persona que proporciona el cuidado.

Demencia (Dementia)

Definición

En la comunidad médica se emplea el término de "demencia" para describir a los pacientes con trastornos de la capacidad intelectual. Los pacientes de demencia también pueden clasificarse según padezcan de demencia "presenil" o "senil", "síndrome cerebral orgánico" o "crónico", "arteriosclerosis" o "atrofia cerebral". Es importante señalar que la demencia no es una dolencia normal del proceso de envejecimiento. Los trastornos de demencia son provocados por procesos patológicos anormales y pueden afectar tanto a las personas jóvenes como a los ancianos.

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