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What is the Treatment For Dementia— Singapore

Do any of your family members often experience misplacing their things or getting lost in places they used to have memorized by heart? Perhaps they are displaying odd behavior such as forgetting names, having trouble comprehending stuff, or having difficulty speaking. If any of these signs are present, then your loved one must be developing dementia.

If that is the case, they must receive proper dementia care and support to help reduce the progression of their condition. Aging alone can already be complicated—having an impairment can reduce a person's ability to live not just a normal but a quality life.

Fortunately, there are ways on how dementia is being treated. Read on to find out more.

What is Dementia?

When an aging person experiences a cognitive decline, it is a clear sign of dementia. Dementia refers to any type of memory impairment such as memory loss. It is when the cognitive functions start to deteriorate including the ability to think, comprehend, calculate, learn, speak, and perform everyday tasks. This condition is more prominent among those belonging to the older age group but signs of it can show at an early age such as 45.

Dementia affects the normal ageing process. It is not a disease but more of a syndrome that may or may not be permanently cured. If a cognitive impairment cannot be reversed, the best thing to do is to undergo methods and practices that could slow down its progression.

So, if dementia is prevalent in your family history, it would be best to get yourself checked. It's better to be prepared at the earliest stage!

Types of Dementia

When you say dementia, people automatically think of Alzheimer's disease (since it happens to be the most popular one). However, dementia is only an umbrella term housing several types of memory problems. They range from mild dementia to the worst ones. Check them out below:

Alzheimer's Disease

This is probably the most famous and common type of memory impairment. Around 60 to 80% of dementia cases are Alzheimer's disease. This condition happens when the brain cells die and is more prominent among older adults. Symptoms of this are depression, short-term memory loss, mood swings, confusion, and trouble with walking or speaking.

Vascular Dementia

This is the second most common dementia type that's caused by the lack of blood circulation to the brain. It can be associated with issues like atherosclerotic disease or stroke. This condition can be quite tricky because its symptoms can either appear progressively or suddenly, depending on its cause. The symptoms of this in its early stages are confusion and disorientation. However, in the later stages, the patient may experience difficulty in concentrating and accomplishing tasks.

Lewy Body Dementia

This happens when Lewy Bodies, the small clumps of protein building up inside the brain's nerve cells, interfere with neural signals and communication. Symptoms of this are experiencing memory loss, disorientation, and even visual hallucination. Having sleep difficulties is sometimes an effect of this condition.

Parkinson's Disease

When a Parkinson's disease worsens or advances, it can eventually lead to dementia. Early signs of this include having poor reasoning and judgment abilities. It can soon develop into other symptoms such as having hallucinations, confusion, irritability, depression, paranoia, and speech difficulties.

Frontotemporal Dementia

This is a term that refers to the types of dementia that affect the front and side areas of the brain. These very areas are the ones that control a person's language and behavior. This condition can affect an adult as young as 45 years old.

Huntington's Disease

When a premature breakdown of the brain's nerve cells happens, it can lead to dementia and impaired movement. This is a genetic condition and its early symptoms usually appear among younger adults. It has two types: Juvenile onset and Adult-onset. Those with the juvenile form experience symptoms as early as childhood or adolescence, while the adult-onset symptoms typically take place when a person is in their 30's or 40's.

Physical symptoms of this are difficulty walking and trouble swallowing while the mentally related ones are having impulse control issues, difficulty focusing on tasks, and trouble learning new things.

Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease

Despite this being the rarest type of dementia, it is also the most dangerous one. It progresses at a fast rate and those who have it usually pass away only within a year of their diagnosis. It involves common dementia symptoms like memory loss, confusion, agitation, and depression. In some cases, those with the Creutzfeldt Jakob disease may also experience muscle-twitching or stiffness.

Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome

Interestingly, there is a thing called Wernicke's disease and one that is called Korsakoff syndrome. The two are separate conditions but are frequently grouped. This syndrome is not technically a dementia type but it has symptoms that are similar to those of dementia.

Wernicke's disease occurs when there is bleeding in the lower areas of the brain due to vitamin B-1 deficiency. This can be a result of malnutrition, chronic infections, and—in most cases—alcoholism. If left untreated, it can eventually lead to symptoms of the Korsakoff syndrome that includes trouble with processing new information, remembering things, and learning new skills.

Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus

This is a condition wherein the brain's ventricles experience a fluid build-up, therefore affecting the tissues and leading to dementia symptoms. People who have this condition exhibit various symptoms like forgetfulness, mood swings, depression, poor balance, frequent falls, and loss of bladder or bowel control. Fortunately, this can be reversed or controlled with surgery.

Mixed Dementia

As its name suggests, this is a condition when the patient is diagnosed with more than 1 type of dementia. It is also relatively common that, in fact, 45% of those with mixed dementia have no idea they have it. The most common type of dementia combination is Alzheimer's disease and Vascular dementia. Symptoms may vary depending on the types of dementia involved but most experience difficulty in walking and speaking.

Understanding the "ABC" of Dementia

The treatment of dementia involves strategies that target the "ABC" aspects of the disease.

A for Activities of Daily Living (ADL)

Activities of daily living refer to the person's ability to function. This includes the ability to move, eat, and do other basic self-care tasks. A person with dementia commonly suffers from difficulties in accomplishing even the most simple of tasks due to disorientation, forgetfulness, or confusion.

B for Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD)

BPSD is centered around the behavior, language, and mental health of the patient.

C for Cognitive Functions

Cognitive functions pertain to the patient's ability to use their cognitive abilities such as thinking, remembering, problem-solving, learning, and more.

Kinds of treatment for Dementia patients

There have been several methods and practices that were utilized to treat and reduce symptoms of dementia. Although this condition is often never cured, there are ways on how to combat or reduce its progression to allow the person to still live a good quality of life. Symptoms worsen as time passes by, especially if it's not being managed properly. These treatments are also being provided in elderly care facilities such as a dementia nursing home Singapore.

To give you an idea, listed below are the different types of treatment for dementia.

1. Pharmacological Interventions

This type of treatment requires a person with dementia to be subjected to a thorough evaluation to select the right pharmacological intervention strategy that will help reverse or reduce the progression of their condition. The strategies include the following:

  • Treatment of identifiable reversible causes: This is to pinpoint and treat the reversible causes of dementia but does not always guarantee the complete treatment of dementia itself.
  • Reduction of vascular risk factors: This involves the identification and management of vascular risk factors that can lead to dementia leads.

2. Psychosocial Interventions

This treatment serves the purpose of improving cognitive abilities, reducing behavioral symptoms, enhancing emotional well-being, as well as promoting the everyday functioning of people with dementia. It features several methods such as those listed below:

  • Communication with dementia patients: Where proper and calm communication is established with the patient to help reduce career or family-related stress.
  • Disclosure of diagnosis: This refers to the family doctor or specialist being open to the patient about their diagnosis. Most patients (including their family members) were proven to prefer knowing well about their condition rather than the opposite.
  • Environmental interventions: This is about putting the patient in an environment or setting that is stress-free, familiar, and secure—something that could be their safe space.
  • Behavioral interventions (e.g. Behavioural therapy counselling education): This is mostly centered on the relationship of the patient with their caregivers and why the patient is acting or behaving in a "certain" way.
  • Cognitive Training: This treatment involves the patient undergoing training to improve their cognitive abilities or to simply reduce the progression of cognitive decline.
  • Reality Orientation (RO): Those who live with dementia sometimes get confused or disoriented with reality; this treatment helps to keep them in the know. The doctor or health professional will gently explain to them the situation and answer the questions of what, where, when, why, and how.
  • Reminiscence Therapy (RT): This activity is about reminding the patient of their memories with other people, places, or things. The aid of tangible props such as photos, music, and other memorabilia may be needed to achieve the goal of this method.
  • Music Therapy: Agitation is common among those suffering from memory impairments and music has been proven to be a great tool in managing it.

Dementia treatment services in Singapore

Dementia is scary because it can be a life-threatening illness. Fortunately, treatments exist to combat its effects and significantly reduce its development. Listed below are the appropriate care facilities that provide methods on how to combat dementia by improving the well-being of seniors:

  • Memory Care Homes - These are like old folks' homes that are especially dedicated to seniors living with dementia.
  • Dementia Day Care Centre - This type of facility provides a more short-term type of care for those with dementia. Services are provided during the day when the family members of the care recipient are away at work.
  • Home Care Services - Seniors who prefer not to or cannot be admitted to a Singapore nursing home or dementia care homes can opt to receive home nursing care Singapore. Caregivers and health professionals are the ones to visit them at their residence.
  • Specialist services in acute hospitals - Medical cure is, of course, still an essential part of dementia treatment. Dementia patients can receive medical and rehabilitative care in acute hospitals.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Red Crowns Senior Living
CONTENTS
What is Dementia?Types of DementiaUnderstanding the "ABC" of DementiaKinds of Treatment for Dementia Patients

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