Policy Implications for Services to Older Persons with Dementia
The term "dementia" refers to a condition of memory decline that impairs the affected's memory, cognition, and behavior and dramatically impairs their ability to carry out everyday tasks. About 60–70% of the cases of dementia are caused by Alzheimer's disease, making it the most prevalent kind. Although aging is the most significant recognized risk factor, dementia does not just afflict elderly individuals and is not a natural part of becoming old. Midlife hypertension, a lack of education, diabetes mellitus, and cigarette dependence are the major risk factors that are most frequently acknowledged. In addition to midlife depression, lack of social support, and cognitive inactivity, potential risk factors can include physiological inactivity, obesity, imbalanced diets, and alcohol abuse. Dementia patients involve multifaceted concerns that transcend the health and social fields and call for integrated psychiatric, interpersonal, and biological assistance.
Which legislation applies to dementia care?
The first National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease was launched in 2012 and is revised yearly with feedback from professionals and the general population. To prevent new cases of Alzheimer's and other dementias and to improve care for the people and families presently dealing with these illnesses, the National Plan outlines six goals:
- By 2025, prevent and cure dementias like Alzheimer's successfully.
- Enhancing the effectiveness and quality of care.
- Increasing assistance for those who have Alzheimer's disease and other associated dementias.
- Raising awareness and participation in society.
- Upgrading data to monitor progress.
- Supporting healthy aging and lowering risk factors for Alzheimer's and other dementias.
Why is legislation important for people with dementia?
It is well known that both in the community and nursing facilities, persons with dementia are regularly denied their basic fundamental rights. Even when laws are in place to protect their rights, persons with dementia are frequently chemically and physically confined in many different nations. In addition, other parties may take advantage of a dementia diagnosis for their gain by lying to obtain someone's possessions.
Alzheimer's disease and associated dementias alter people's memories, thoughts, and behaviors. These illnesses may have catastrophic effects on the people who have them, their families, and other caretakers. As a result, the federal government of the United States has made addressing the numerous negative issues caused by Alzheimer's and associated dementias a top priority. The National Alzheimer's Project Act (NAPA) called for the development of a coordinated national strategy to advance research and enhance care and services for those with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias as well as their families.
How do professionals support people with dementia?
General Practitioners (GPs)
Whenever one has any worries regarding their health, they should speak with their GP immediately. They will lead the group in charge of the patient’s general health. Their functions include:
- Speaking with the patient about dementia and any other health issues
- Conducting a physical evaluation and planning for additional testing
- Examining any therapies that the patient may be undergoing
Doctors with extensive education and work experience in a given field serve as consultants. The GP’s office will arrange for you to visit a consultant if you require one, and you will do so in a hospital. These consultants include:
- Neurologists: They specialize in the brain and nervous system.
- Psychiatrists: They specialize in treating patients with mental health issues.
- Geriatricians: Experts in treating elderly patients and the diseases and impairments connected to aging.
- Clinical psychologists: They help cope with any issues you may have as well as information processing, learning difficulties, and other approaches and techniques.
Experts in social services
Social workers can provide personal social care and non-medical support. A social worker will typically evaluate the patient’s requirements and inquire about their finances. Additionally, a caretaker's evaluation will be performed by a social worker. This allows the unpaid caretaker to discuss the assistance required to support the dementia patient and preserve their health and well-being. This can assist the caregiver in creating a positive relationship across the nursing obligations, job, and other facets of their life. Social service workers can be found at care facilities, daycare centers, or domiciliary caregivers in the client's home. They may take care of your care, emotional needs, and care requirements.
What are 5 ways you can help people with dementia feel more valued and competent?
- Making an effort to understand the individual suffering from dementia.
- Create an environment that is suitable for people with dementia.
- Compassionate and patient behavior goes a long way.
- Focusing on appreciating and acknowledging the things they do recall instead of reprimanding them.