Health and Psychiatry takes pride in providing your family and loved one with the individual memory care you expect and deserve - giving hope towards health and harmony.
You ARE NOT alone. In the United States, a new case of dementia is diagnosed every 70 seconds. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60-80% of dementia related cognitive impairments. It is the most common cause of memory loss. (Alzheimer’s Association, 2011).
The Health and Psychiatry practice model increases access to behavioral health services by providing onsite mental health and psychiatric services; and promoting continuity of care with primary care physicians. Our multidisciplinary services include, but are not limited to: complete psychiatric evaluations, ongoing medication management, behavioral interventions, psychotherapy, on call support for family and staff, Baker Act evaluations, and facilitation of inpatient psychiatric admissions.
What is Dementia?
Dementia is a progressive decline in cognitive functioning that is different for everyone. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Dementia is a progressive condition resulting in memory impairment and a decline in cognitive functioning caused by damaged brain cells or neurons.
Cognitive abilities affected in dementia include language, the ability to recognize familiar people and places, motor activities, and the ability to carry out simple and complex tasks.
Eventually, the memory impairment and cognitive difficulties interfere with everyday tasks taken for granted such as paying bills, driving, meal preparation, bathing, and dressing.
As the disease progresses, behavioral disturbances result in agitation, altered sleep patterns, wandering, depression, paranoia, delusions, as well as verbal and physical aggression.
Management of cognitive impairments, regardless of origin, start with a thorough assessment of the clinical situation to develop an individualized person-centered plan of care that is focused on the present and future, based on your individual lifestyle.
Currently, a cure for dementia does not exist; treatment is focused on slowing the progression of the disease with pharmacological interventions, and implementing behavioral modification programs to compensate for cognitive deficits.
Psychiatric medications can be prescribed judiciously to treat behavioral disturbances that occur in the mild to moderate stages of the disease. These drugs will differ from patient to patient based on behavioral symptoms.
• The 36-hour Day: A Family Guise to Caring for People with Alzheimer’s Disease and other Dementia’s and Memory Loss Later in Life by Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins
• Understanding Difficult Behaviors: Some Practical Suggestions for Coping with Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Illness by Anne Robinson
• Still Alice by Lisa Genova
• The Alzheimer’s Project @ www.nia.nih.gov/Alzheimers/HBO
• Your Guide to Memory Loss
Continuum of Care: 4 Stages of Dementia
Individuals in the early stage still work, drive, and pay bills. However progression begins to affect short term memory loss, subtle speech impairments such as the inability to find words,or name things appears. As does noticeable forgetfulness, depression, needs subtle reminders to perform activities of daily living, avoids unfamiliar situations, begins to have difficulties with writing, using tools or utensils.
Progressive memory loss now includes aspects of long term memory, frequently disorientated -gets lost in the home and in familiar places, mood and behavioral disturbances begin to emerge, needs more assistance and cuing to complete complex tasks such as bathing and dressing. Language difficulties progress, and diminished abstract reasoning is present.
Unable to distinguish past from present, ability to communicate severely impaired, increasing reliance on caregivers for bathing, dressing, and eating, behavioral disturbances worsen as confusion increases, motor movements become slowed and stiff.