We have all heard of the terrible disease that affects so many of today’s elderly: dementia. Some of us have even cared for a loved one who received the diagnosis. What does someone with this dementia experience? Recently our Firm got to experience four minutes in the life of a person with dementia. During that time our sense of sight, hearing and touch were altered to imitate the symptoms of dementia. Completing average daily life activities such setting a table, folding laundry, opening a medicine bottle was difficult or even impossible to accomplish. Even after the short time of only four minutes, we were all ready to return to life as normal. This event gave us all a new perspective of the suffering so many with this terrible diagnosis of dementia live with. Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Dementia describes a range of conditions that are related to the decline of memory and thinking abilities. Some difficulties those who suffer from dementia encounter:
- Memory loss– People with dementia suffer from memory loss and have difficulty retaining information.
- Communication and Language– Difficulty communicating. Those with dementia may struggle to find the correct words or explaining things. Repetition is also common due to memory loss.
- Mood and Emotions – A victim of dementia may experience depression, apathy or other changes to their personality.
- Ability to focus and pay attention –It’s hard for people with dementia to concentrate. They have difficulty understanding what is going on so it’s hard for them to focus.
- Reasoning and Judgment– Unable to make reasonable decisions or have good judgment due to the confusion they are feeling.
- Visual Perception-They are unable to analyze what is going on around them. This can include failing sense of direction even within the home.
If you are concerned that someone you know may have dementia, they should be evaluated by a professional. A professional evaluation, especially when done early on, can help the person tremendously. There are different treatments and even clinics with new trials for treating people with dementia. Knowing what someone with the dementia experiences can help you better understand the disease and how to help the people who suffer with it daily.