One of the biggest challenges for people who are taking care of a spouse or elderly parent with any form of dementia is dealing with sudden outbursts of agitation and aggression. Most people with dementia undergo behavioral changes during the course of the disease. Depending on their personalities and experiences they may become anxious or repeat the same question or activity many times.
Technology has progressed a long way over the course of an older adults’ lifetime. They have seen everything from dramatic medical advances to the rise of an internet-dependent society. Over the last several years, older adults have been the quickest growing section of the online population. More and more people over the age of 60 are going online and using Facebook, Google, Yahoo and YouTube. They are emailing, texting and blogging—and it has a positive impact on their lives as they are communicating more frequently with family and reconnecting with old friends.
As caregivers, we are well aware of the powerful range of emotions felt by us and our loved one with dementia. People with dementia fluctuate between many different behaviors and moods ranging from being excited and cheerful, to sadness, crying and aggression. As we struggle in our attempt to deal with these mood changes, many of these negative mood states can transfer to us. They typically show up as sadness, anger, frustration and exhaustion.
With more people moving away from their homes for better opportunities, today’s families tend to be further apart than ever before. But when the parents living at a distance begin to show signs that they are no longer able to care for themselves or handle the responsibilities of day-to-day living, ensuring their continued well-being can pose a significant challenge for their adult children.
World Human Rights Day is observed on December 15th every year. A Dementia patient too has his or her rights as defined by the Alzheimer’s Society of UK here .
In this context as a part of Samvedna Senior Care’s Dementia Support Group meeting on Saturday, 9th December 2017, we decided to discuss the ethical dilemmas faced by families for their loved ones with Dementia. We started the workshop by discussing some viewpoints on dilemmas that commonly disturb caregivers.
Parkinson’s Disease is a degenerative disease in which brain cells (neurons) are affected. While it is most commonly associated with motor symptoms such as tremors, rigidity, postural instability, difficulty walking, etc., Parkinson’s is also accompanied by non-motor symptoms such as disturbances in the sense of smell, sleep problems, depression, anxiety and cognitive changes.
Many elderly appreciate having an alcoholic drink every now and then, and alcohol can be a part of celebrating and socializing. We are also well aware that drinking too frequently in large quantities can put anyone in danger of developing serious physical and mental health problems.
The fact that pollution of our environment is an ever increasing threat to human health and survival is no surprise. Authoritative sources claim that one out of ten deaths today occur due to pollution, either directly or indirectly. The cost to society is measured in tens of trillions of dollars. While the effect of pollution is universal the poorer and less developed societies suffer the brunt of this scourge.
The prevalence of dementia and age-related cognitive impairment is rising due to an aging population worldwide. There is currently no effective medicinal treatment available, however various cognitive activity programmes can help prevent and delay the progression of the disease. This is especially true if the diagnosis of dementia is made in its early stages, presenting a window of opportunity for various interventions.