Interacting With Dementia Essay

1432 words - 6 pages

When I was 18 year old, I applied to work at an assisted living facility called, Crestwood Senior living (currently known as Matthews of Glendale). When I first got hired, I was introduced to all the staff and all the residents as well. After being employed there for a while I started to notice that some resident were acting different from the first time I had met them and I did not understand why. So I asked my coworker, why some of the residents were acting different and she explained to me that some of the resident have dementia. Now, at that time I didn’t really know what dementia was because I had never worked in that type of field before or have taking any classes on that type of disease. So, I decided to do a little research on my own and looked closely at all of my residents file.
While collecting my research, I studied that dementia is the loss of mental functions such as thinking, memory, and reasoning that is severe enough to interfere with a person's daily functioning. Dementia is not a disease itself, but rather a group of symptoms that are caused by various diseases or conditions. Dementia is the most common type is Alzheimer’s disease. Symptoms can also include changes in personality, mood, and behavior. According to the Columbia University Electronic Encyclopedia, “Dementia, in its contemporary usage, is an irreversible condition, and is not applied to states of mental deterioration that may be overcome, such as delirium.” This condition is generally caused by damage to brain cells. This damage interferes with the ability of brain cells to communicate with each other. When brain cells cannot communicate normally, thinking, behavior and feelings can be affected. “Major characteristics include short- and long-term memory loss, impaired judgment, slovenly appearance, and poor hygiene.” (Columbia University) I feel that people who are working with the elderly community need to become more educated with different ways to try to interact with individuals who have dementia. This important for workers to know because elderly individuals who have dementia need proper interactive attention to carry out their daily lives and it would make it easier for caregivers to ensure that the person with dementia is comfortable.
One way that people who are working with the elderly community can interact with individuals with dementia is by playing games such as memory games that can help them keep their mind’s going. According to Karen Miller, publisher of Memory Jogging Puzzles, stated that “Studies have shown, that memory games help slow down memory loss and brain deterioration.” These games can range anywhere from being low-tech, or high-tech. Some games that the help stimulate the mind that individuals with dementia are cards games such as concentration. Concentration is a well-known card game that is often seen in quiz shows and in educational programs. In the basic form, cards are laid face down on a surface and two cards are flipped face up over...

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