DEMENTIA: FORGETFULLNESS - Curativo Clinic

DEMENTIA: FORGETFULLNESS

In August 2015, I first visited a care facility for elderly people at Gurgaon, I was supposed to do physio for one of their residents, an 80 something, tall, well-built man and a lovely, shy lady who excels at making painting and is fond of drinking coffee.

Thus began my journey of knowing lives at this care facility. In subsequent years, I came to know about another resident who was a stroke survivor, he had been a brilliant man and ex-manager of a large firm, Another lady who would forget everything else but remember my name, an ex-NRI whom I fondly called London-waali aunty and many such people at the senior years of their lives. Through my interaction with these people, I came to know about their wonderful lives, their fears, and sorrows, and their happiness and accomplishments and this changed my perception of Old age homes and assisted facilities. I have a very positive notion about assisted homes and routinely advice busy couples or families who have elderly at home can’t look after them properly.

Epoch elder homes particularly specialize in Dementia care. Their specialty level care for dementia patients, compassion in their care, round the clock availability, dedicated and qualified nursing staff and well behaved orderly staff makes them stand apart in dementia care.

WHAT IS DEMENTIA:

Having my post- graduation in Neurological rehabilitation, I could make out clearly why Epoch is a preferred place for dementia care. So let me elaborate more for those of us who still don’t properly understand Dementia and its health sequel, I would like to give a brief video tutorial introduction to what it stands for. Watch it here:



Forgetfulness is actually a normal thing for all of us. Every day we forget a lot non-useful arbitrary stuff which is actually our brain’s mechanism to revitalize itself, retain what is important and discard what is not. There are plenty of examples of this, like forgetting keys, folders, Tiffin etc, but then you are quickly reminded of it and correct it. However, a person with clinically significant forgetfulness would not remember or recall it and will be totally okay about it.

This problem of forgetfulness is called dementia. As most dementia are progressive, with the passage of time it becomes challenging for an elderly person to execute daily activities. It even becomes risky for patients. People with dementia will frequently forget switching off the stove or putting off the iron and may even get lost outdoors.

The dementia India report 2010 published by The Alzheimer and Related Disorder Society of India (ARDSI), claims that there were 37 lakh Indians suffering from dementia in 2010. The total cost of care for these individuals is whooping 14,300 crore rupees. According to the ARDSI this number of patient will double by 2030 and the total cost will go up by 3 times.

Dmentia is recognized by its hallmark sign memory loss. However it’s not just the memory that is affected, it’s far more complex. For example; dementia causes decline in effective functions, executive functions and cognitive functions.

Loss of Affective functions causes frustration, emotional instability, depression and social isolation. In fact, often this could be the first symptoms that family might notice. Executive functions like such people have difficulty in completing a task. E.g. tying their laces or perform a sequential task like going for a grocery shopping. Cognitive functions like ability to do calculation, thinking, mentation and language are also affected too.

Sadly, in the end these people mightily even regress to become totally mute and bedridden.

How to recognize Dementia:

There are several signs of dementia that can be observed by family with little efforts. Watch the video:



7 major signs of dementia are:

1. Untidy and disheveled look.
2. Difficulty speaking coherently.
3. Lost in time.
4. Emotionally blank.
5. Depression and apathy.
6. Difficulty following routine.
7. Forgetting familiar objects.

PREVENTION OF DEMENTIA:

Watch the video below:



Right Food: Food rich in trans-fat, cholesterol, starch and unchecked calories are not good. On other hand diet rich in leafy vegetables, cereals, salad and fruits, whole grain, fibre and lots of water helps our brain to receive best nutrition. Cholesterol, trans-fat and LDL hardens vessels of brain and put us on the risk of vascular dementia the second common dementia after Alzheimer’s diseases. The researchers have found a compound called curcumin in turmeric which have protective effects against dementia. So pinch of turmeric powder in food is helpful.

Physical Exercises: Improving aerobic fitness ensure more blood flow towards brain, carrying more nutrients and more oxygen and thus promoting cell growth and survival in brain tissue. There are direct correlation between physical exercises and low cognitive decline in later years of life.

Exercise Your Brain: A mixture of novelty and complexity found in technology based learning to stimulate brain has outperformed other mentation and cognitive exercises in research settings.

Keep Yourself Socially Connected: People who are connected to their friends and family are less likely to suffer from depression which is a strong contributor for dementia.

Speak More Than One Language: Researches has found that long term bilingualism prevents dementia meaning learning more than one language and then using them more and more keeps your brain more active.

Dementia is a complex problem and so is its management. Unfortunately there is no magic therapy for it and in many cases like Alzhimer’s dementia, it can’t be cured. But early recognition and early referral to a neurologist can slow down its deterioration and here comes an assisted home like Epoch’s role. At epoch, our facility managers quickly assess any change in physical or mental health of our residents with dementia, schedules appointments with neurologists and other dementia care specialists and arranges the customized care according to residents’ needs.

This approach of customization of services according to the health issues of a patient of complex neurological problem like dementia makes therapy and treatment more effective than a standalone approach a patient receives at home and this is the reason I highly recommend Epoch Elder care to most my patients.

Writer:
Dr. Vivek Gaur,
MPT-Neurology, MIAP, MIAN
Senior Physical Therapist,
Curativo Clinic. Gurgaon.

Assisted by:
Dr. Rupal Srivastava,
BPT, MIAP
Physical Therapist,
Curativo Clinic. Gurgaon.

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