Dementia is the most feared and distressing disorder of later life. This essay will give an overview of dementia followed by the most common types of dementia. The essay will cover the nursing assessment and the interventions. Issues relating to sleeping disorders will be identified and it will also explore the care required in relation to these sleeping problems for an older patient / client suffering from dementia, as well as patient and carer advice.
Analysis of Dementia
The term dementia means a serious loss in memory and other intellectual abilities in a formally unimpaired person, further than what might be expected from normal ageing (Dhanani & Wilkins, 2008). The origin of the word dementia is from a latin word “demens” meaning insane or being out of one’s mind (Banerjee, 2011, p.2). According to Miller (2009), dementia is a syndrome not a disease, that means it is an outline of symptoms due to different illnesses. There are about twenty-four million people suffering from dementia in the world, with an extra four and a half million newly discovered every year (Ferri, Prince, Brayne, Brodaty, Fratiglioni, 2005).
Types of Dementia
The most common types of dementia are the primary dementias, which occur as a result of pathological conditions of the brain. Primary dementias include Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementias, vascular dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies (Saxon, Etten & Perkins, 2010).
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the diseases with the longest history of recognition. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are often similar (Miller, 2009). Saxon, Etten & Perkins (2010, p. 93), claim that, “Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60% to 80% of all cases of dementia.” Currently, Alzheimer’s disease is viewed as a form of dementia that can affect middle-aged, younger adults, or older adults, but most of the time, it is identified in people over 65 years of age (Saxon, Etten & Perkins, 2010). In the early stages, the most commonly known symptom is the failure to acquire new memories, such as difficulty in remembering recently viewed facts. As the disease progress, symptoms include confusion, irritability and aggression, mood swings, language breakdown, long-term memory loss, and the general isolation of the victim as the senses decline. Gradually, bodily functions are lost, finally leading to death (Corliss, Gilbert, & Growdon, 2009).
Frontotemporal dementia is a clinical syndrome affected by the collapse of the frontal lobe of the brain and may continue back to the temporal lobe. It is one of three syndromes caused by frontotemporal lobar degeneration, and the second most common dementia after Alzheimer's disease (Giannakopoulos, Hof, & Hof, 2009). Miller (2009, p. 269), claims that “ Frontotemporal dementia is often discovered in people at the age between 52 and 56 years, but it has also been reported in people between the age of 21 and 85 years.” The symptoms contain weak thoughts and problem solving skills, using...