Dementia is not a specific disease but a general term that describes a group of symptoms which are related to loss in memory serious enough to reduce the ability in which an individual can do familiar tasks. It is caused by impairment of nerve cells in the brain which can happen in several parts of the brain. This impairment interferes with the ability to communicate with each other. Dementia affects people differently depending on the part of the brain affected and the most common type of dementia is the Alzheimer’s followed by vascular dementia which is as a result of stroke. Depending on the cause some symptoms of dementia can be reserved. For instance, dementia as a result of vitamin deficiencies might improve with treatment. Individuals who are affected may become apathetic in their normal operations, lose interest in socialising and lose the ability to remember events or understand their surroundings.
What are the main issues in this case study? Explain how these may impact people with dementia and/or their family. Support your explanation with scholarly literature.
Issues that could be identified from the case study include age, mental exercise and medication that can positively or negatively affect people with dementia. Exercise results in a healthier brain and also better health to other body parts (Forbes et al., 2015). Physical activity along with exercise enhances cognitive performance and reduce cognitive decline. Consistent aerobic exercise promotes cognitive functions, healthy alterations in expression of genes in the brain and healthy forms of neuroplasticity (Hendrikse, Kandola, Coxon, Rogasch & Yücel, 2017). Long-term impacts of exercise encompass of increased development of neuron and neurological activity like c-Fos signalling and advancements in functional and structural brain pathways and tissues related to cognitive control and memory (Hendrikse, Kandola, Coxon, Rogasch & Yücel, 2017). Stanislaw and his wife Matylda are active members of the community, and this affects Stanislaw positively. Moreover, Stanislaw walked one kilometre away every day to meet his great-grandchildren at the bus stop and walk them home, and this exercise might have reduced the progression of his condition.
Mental exercise causes stimulation which increases the strength and number of connections between the brain cells (Katz, 2014) Hence reducing the progression of dementia. Exercising the brain can enhance the thinking capability of individuals with dementia or slow the rate of cognitive decline. However, individuals with dementia should be encouraged to keep their operations along with hobbies. In the case study, Stanislaw and Matylda are active and share interests like bowls, Lions club, and gardening. When Stanislaw refuses to go back to the Lions club his wife Matylda should encourage him so that he may understand the benefits that may come as a result. Although changes may be required as dementia progresses, staying mentally active and socially involved may be essential for daily functioning, mental health, and cognition of a person with dementia (Leung, Yates, Orgeta, Hamidi & Orrell, 2017).
In view of aging process, several adjustments do occur in the brain (Samanez-Larkin & Knutson, 2015). The part of the brain that is responsible for cognitive functioning eventually show less coordination, certain brain parts become inactive and individuals are affected by aging even if they do not have underlying problems (Samanez-Larkin & Knutson, 2015). As one age the cognitive functioning declines and symptoms worsen and the possibilities of developing dementia increases substantially. Stan is 83 years old, and he is at greater risk in the progression of his condition hence the increase in age affects him adversely.
Moreover, culturally and linguistically diverse older people with dementia together with their loved ones face several unique difficulties and unique needs. One of the difficulties is the reversion of language which emanates from dementia (Tipping & Whiteside, 2015). In the case study, Stanislaw and his wife Matylda who immigrated from Poland face the challenge of language reversion since sometimes he finds himself speaking polish.
What can your chosen services provide to help Stan and Matylda address these issues? Give reasons as to why these services are required and how they can help.
Dementia Australia provides services like counselling, living with memory loss group program, carer support groups, home and community care (HACC) and cognitive dementia and memory service (CDAMS) (Jeon, McKenzie, Krein, Flaherty & Gillespie, 2017). Individuals who benefit from dementia counselling are the individuals in the untimely phases of dementia, caregivers of persons with dementia and family like partner or children. Dementia counselling helps people and families through arranging how to control the disease in years to come in case of the dementia alterations, gaining knowledge of the effects of dementia and recognizing approaches for surviving and existing with dementia (Jeon, McKenzie, Krein, Flaherty & Gillespie, 2017). Furthermore, it assists families in reaching their agreement on dementia care issues; deal with sensation of anxiety and combination of feelings along with making referrals for appropriate assistance. Counselling could be helpful to Matylda to know how to cope with Stan's situation and how to take care of him despite his emotions.
These groups living with memory loss are mainly planned for individuals in the premature periods of dementia and their pillar person (Marshall et al., 2015). In each program, the opportunity to separate and discuss important issues is provided for individuals living with dementia and their family. These services are undertaken in local and municipal orientations to the members without paying fee and underway aid alternatives are convenient after the end of the service (Marshall et al., 2015). The benefit of this program is that participants have the opportunity to focus on retaining and improving abilities and skills, acquire data, have queries replied and analyse ways of controlling at the moment and hereafter. Moreover, they can come together and speak privately with others in the same condition and examine encounters along with demonstrating emotions in a safe surrounding (Marshall et al., 2015). Stan will gain much from this program and understand that with a positive attitude the disease can be managed and also gain knowledge on how to handle it by using medication appropriately.
The carer support groups meet in a broad variety of locations all over Australia and bring together carers, friends, and partners of people with dementia and sometimes with a facilitator (Lauritzen, Pedersen, Sørensen & Bjerrum, 2015). They allow carers to enjoy the benefits of a social outing and learn coping mechanisms along with techniques like relaxation and stress management. Also, carers are entitled to acquire aid and come together with persons in the same condition, learn on how to survive with problems like resentment, loss and grief, anger, relief, guilt along with other emotions which may arise (Lauritzen, Pedersen, Sørensen & Bjerrum, 2015).
In the case of Stanislaw and Matylda, Matylda says that Stanislaw will not let her get anyone in to mow the lawn and gets cross at her for nagging him all the time. Through this program, she will learn how to deal with emotions of Stanislaw every time they arise. They also acquire significant dementia data and teaching, share management hints and capabilities along with ideas with other carers and learn about local community services for individuals with dementia and their caregivers (Lauritzen, Pedersen, Sørensen & Bjerrum, 2015).
Cognitive Dementia and Memory Service is a specialist service which assists persons with a change to their thinking or memory loss and spouses who support them (Osborne, 2016). They provide information about appropriate medications, information on how to deal with daily operations, the direction in planning for the future along with an expert clinical diagnosis. Also, they provide links for individuals with dementia and their carers to other services, and community supports together with providing education, support, and information (Osborne, 2016).
The Home and Community Care program trains and educate service providers who work with people with dementia (Lewis, Peiris & Shields, 2017). This service funds café style support services which provide social support to an individual with his caregiver at the same time, same place, in a community-based setting together with pleasant social surroundings like a café or similar community venue. Furthermore, it supports people who have dementia through the provision of respite, data, and counseling, social opportunities along with operations of every day like cleaning and other hose chores (Lewis, Peiris & Shields, 2017). This program addresses the importance of exercise and helps Stanislaw to reduce the progression of his condition by continuing being active in community activities as before.
Dementia can be progressed by various factors which may include age, mental exercise and even cultural and linguistically diverse communities. Caregivers of individuals with dementia face several challenges like stress, being shouted at at no apparent reason, they get distressed but they have to understand those people that there brain cells are damaged and they might not be aware of whatever they are doing. Dementia Australia provide services and programs that help the people with dementia along with their caregivers, partners or friends to understand how to handle the syndrome now and even in future. Also, the services help caregivers to have a break to feel relieved for some time.
Forbes, S. C., Forbes, D., Forbes, S., Blake, C. M., Chong, L. Y., Thiessen, E. J., ... & Rutjes, A. W. (2015). Exercise interventions for preventing dementia or delaying cognitive decline in people with mild cognitive impairment. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (5).
Hendrikse, J., Kandola, A., Coxon, J., Rogasch, N., & Yücel, M. (2017). Combining aerobic exercise and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to improve brain function in health and disease. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews.
Jeon, Y. H., McKenzie, H., Krein, L., Flaherty, I., & Gillespie, J. (2017). PREFERENCES, CHOICES, AND DECISION-MAKING: A QUALITATIVE STUDY ON THE EXPERIENCES OF FAMILY CARERS AND PEOPLE WITH ADVANCED DEMENTIA. Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association, 13(7), P1248-P1249.
Katz, L. (2014). Keep your brain alive: 83 neurobic exercises to help prevent memory loss and increase mental fitness. Workman Publishing.
Lauritzen, J., Pedersen, P. U., Sørensen, E. E., & Bjerrum, M. B. (2015). The meaningfulness of participating in support groups for informal caregivers of older adults with dementia: a systematic review. JBI database of systematic reviews and implementation reports, 13(6), 373-433.
Leung, P., Yates, L., Orgeta, V., Hamidi, F., & Orrell, M. (2017). The experiences of people with dementia and their carers participating in individual cognitive stimulation therapy. International journal of geriatric psychiatry, 32(12), e34-e42.
Lewis, M., Peiris, C. L., & Shields, N. (2017). Long-term home and community-based exercise programs improve function in community-dwelling older people with cognitive impairment: a systematic review. Journal of physiotherapy, 63(1), 23-29.
Marshall, A., Spreadbury, J., Cheston, R., Coleman, P., Ballinger, C., Mullee, M., ... & Bartlett, E. (2015). A pilot randomized controlled trial to compare changes in quality of life for participants with early diagnosis dementia who attend a ‘Living Well with Dementia group compared to waiting-list control. Aging & mental health, 19(6), 526-535.
Osborne, S. (2016). The lived experience of risk for a person with a recent diagnosis of dementia (Alzheimer's type): a longitudinal phenomenological study (Doctoral dissertation, Victoria University).
Samanez-Larkin, G. R., & Knutson, B. (2015). Decision making in the aging brain: changes in affective and motivational circuits. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 16(5), 278.
Tipping, S. A., & Whiteside, M. (2015). Language reversion among people with dementia from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds: the family experience. Australian Social Work, 68(2), 184-197.