To better understand the patient, you should first understand the disease itself. According to Wayne, White, and Smith (2015), “dementia is caused when connections in the brain are lost due to inflammation, trauma, or disease and eventually the neurons die and dementia is the result.” Although some believe that dementia may be genetic, research suggests that it has more to do with your lifestyle, heredity, and environment. Some easy signs and symptoms of people developing dementia are memory loss, impaired judgment, faulty reasoning, and inappropriate behavior. These behaviors can be difficult and stressful for the people providing caring for them.
If caregivers of dementia patients are not properly trained on the disease or how to handle the stress that will happen when providing care, issues such as neglect and abuse may occur. It is important to know what abuse and neglect are, what causes caregivers to result to such behavior, how to detect abuse and neglect, and how to stop/report it. First, the three most common types of abuse in the elderly are physical, emotional, and sexual. Robinson, Saisan, and Segal (2015) describe physical abuse as a, “non-accidental form of inflicted injury.” The patient will have unexplained injuries such as bruises, welts, or scars, broken personal items, or broken bones or sprains. Next, emotional abuse also known as psychological abuse can be verbal or nonverbal. Verbal is threw yelling or humiliation and nonverbal can be done by ignoring or isolating the p...
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...language most of all. They catch on quickly to any sudden movement or facial expressions therefore, making sure your body and face match what you are saying can make a huge difference in the outcome of the conversation. Never stand to close or over them, it is respectful to stand eye level and always remember that something as simple a holding their hands or touching their arm gives them reassurance and shows your care and affection. (“Alzheimer’s Society, 2015)
Overall, dementia is a complicated disease to understand and deal with. It is always important to keep in mind that they didn’t choose this disease and can’t help the unwanted symptom’s that come along with it. Taking the training and education seriously can help the caregiver handle their duties better with less stress and frustration and it helps the patients due to the lowered cases of abuse and neglect.
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