Dementia is a syndrome, a cluster of symptoms that affects almost all the domains of life: intellectual, behavioral, social abilities, and that interferes with daily functioning. It affects an individual’s ability to function at work, in social relationships and in their daily activities. Younger onset dementia, early onset dementia and pre senile dementia are all terms that refer to dementia developed before the age of 65.
Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a chronic and progressive movement disorder estimated to affect nearly 2 percent of those over age 65. It affects the area in the brain that controls motor movements which in turn causes problems like tremors, rigidity, slow movement, postural instability (balance problems) and difficulties with walking. Read More
As care specialists, we understand the need for appropriate and adequate sensory stimulation for Dementia/ Parkinsons disease patients. However, when we meet people of various professional /social/economic backgrounds, I notice a certain apprehension about understanding the relevance of one of the modalities: Tactile Stimulation, which basically involves relating to your sense of touch. Various textures, sizes and shapes like smooth, rough, hard, soft, furry etc. can be used for this activity. The sense of touch also includes the differentiation and recognition of temperature, pain, and body position.
Dance movement therapy is aimed towards the holistic growth and development of the individual through the integration of various aspects of functioning. It helps the individual to take every step in a very creative and simple way.
According to the American Dance Therapy Association (1970), dance movement therapy is defined as “the psychotherapeutic use of movement as a process which furthers the emotional, cognitive and physical integration of the individual.” People with dementia-related disorders such as Alzheimer’s experience anxiety, frustration and fear, along with physical changes, as memory loss progresses.
Visual art therapy involves using different mediums such as paint, clay, chalk and photography to create something that the participant can use to express themselves easily. Research has shown that encouraging people who are living with dementia to take part in regular creative activities significantly enriches and improves their quality of life, helping many to live well with their condition.
I am a dementia care specialist. Dementia as a condition brings a lot of changes in the person, affecting her/him in almost every aspect of life. The transformation during the course of the illness is difficult: physically and emotionally for both the person as well as his or her family members.
‘Caregiver’ definitely became my identity for my relatives, friends and society for almost 12 years. My father had Dementia. And though it’s just been a few months since we lost him, I can’t help but remember his little quirks and odd demands that he would make while he was staying with us. My days and nights were all spent in helping my father, trying my best to be there with him. Losing a parent does leave a palpable void.
Personal hygiene has always been a topic of much stress and concern among the caregivers of dementia. As care specialists too, we often hear instances of how making their loved ones bathe becomes a daily hassle causing strain and tensions. We all understand the host of infections and problems that can crop up with not maintaining proper hygiene. Our persistent effort in explaining and making them bathe is often met with strong resistance, often accompanied with them being aggressive: verbally and physically. Some of the tips that come handy in such times are.
Informing patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) of their diagnosis is hard. Family members often ask physicians not to inform the patient about it, as they are not in the favor of disclosing the diagnosis of dementia to their loved ones. This could be because their loved ones may not be in the condition to understand it or it may create more anxiety in the patients regarding their future. Family caregivers may also experience fear thinking about their loved one’s reaction to it, or they may not know how to break the news to them. Physicians are also reluctant to disclose AD diagnosis to their patients.
The online world is full of apps and games that promise to purposefully engage and stimulate one’s mind. They do so by assigning tasks that work on various aspects like short term memory, visual processing, concentration, reasoning, calculation and problem solving. A lot of them fall under the category of either ‘brain train’ or ‘brain games’. So what is it all about? Let’s find out!