Dementia causes a progressive decline in a person’s mental or cognitive functioning. It is a broad term, which describes a number of conditions that result in a loss of memory, intellect, rationality, social skills and normal emotional reactions. Dementia is irreversible, although the disability may be minimized with therapy. It includes diseases like Alzheimer’s, which is one form of dementia that gradually gets worse over time. It affects memory, thinking, and behavior and can be a frightening experience for both the person with dementia and their family. A diagnosis of dementia can induce feelings of anger, fear, and anxiety. A person in the early stage of the illness should seek emotional support from family, friends, and perhaps a counselor experienced in working with people who have dementia.
Key features include this established cognitive decline, as well as a decline in the ability to complete activities of daily living. It's symptoms include memory loss. This is usually the earliest and most noticeable symptom.
Inability to recall recent events or recognize people and places.
Trouble finding the right words to use in their conversation with people.
Problems planning and carrying out tasks, such as balancing things, following a recipe, or writing a letter.
Trouble exercising judgment, such as knowing what to do in an emergency.
Trouble controlling moods or behaviors. Depression is common, and agitation or aggression may occur.
Not keeping up personal care such as grooming or bathing.
1. Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
Involves a decline in mental functioning, but individuals can still continue activities of daily living.
2. Vascular Cognitive Impairment
It is not termed as dementia because the risk factors can be controlled, and hence monitoring them can prevent any impairment from worsening.
3. Frontotemporal Dementia
The main symptoms here are that language is affected, and personality changes may occur, due to the areas affected.
4. Parkinson's Disease Dementia (PDD)
The main symptoms here are a reduced processing speed, mental skills related to planning, organization, memory, etc. and attention is affected. People may experience tremors as well.
5. Huntington's DiseasePeople may exhibit random, jerky, uncontrollable movements, while also presenting with reduced mental functioning and psychiatric issues.
6. Mixed Dementia
This generally means that people experience both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, and the symptoms may be a combination of the two.
7. Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB)
People may experience visual hallucinations and changes in alertness, as well as Parkinson’s disease-like symptoms.
8. Creutzfeldt-Jakob Dementia (CJD)
This form of dementia shows a rapid decline in cognitive or mental functioning. It also affects memory and creates changes in behaviour.
9. Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH)
This occurs even when the fluid in the brain may be reabsorbed or not blocked. People may experience incontinence, trouble with walking, and cognitive problems.
10. Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome
This form of dementia may be reversible, as it is associated with diet and alcohol consumption.
Professional counseling may help the person accept the diagnosis and develop coping strategies. The careers of people who live with dementia, may possess a high level of stress and anxiety. Sometimes this stress can enter even without them realizing. This stress can have a particularly detrimental effect upon a person’s daily life and overall well-being. If the condition is diagnosed early, people with a mild form of dementia can work with their doctor and home-help providers, in planning for the future and organizing the home and daily tasks. Dementia progresses at different rates in different people, so a person may have many months, or even years, of stable functioning. People with dementia may be able to stay mentally and physically active for years. Counseling can help by providing support for people living with dementia and their near and dear ones as well. It can also help them discover ways of coping in the long term.
Counseling often helps promote awareness of the condition, not only to the patient, but also their friends and family. It may help others realize a need for support, and allows people to know that help is available out. This can help break down barriers and lead to more people speaking out about their issues.
Counsellors for Dementia
NEWLY JOINED THERAPTIST
Having done Post Graduation in Applied Psychology from University of Mumbai, I am further trained in psychotherapy from Albert Ellis Institute ATC India.