Around 5.3 million people above the age of 60 have been estimated to have dementia in India in including 13 percent of the population over 80. It leads to loss of critical thinking skills, problem-solving, decision-making skills, and other thinking abilities, making the sufferer unable to perform his day-to-day task or live independently. Hence, people with dementia also show behavioral issues such as depression, anxiety, and aggression.
Behavioral Issues in Dementia
Depression and anxiety are common during the early stages of dementia, whereas aggression is seen in the later stages of dementia as it progresses. This may occur due to:
Unfulfilled needs: When patients have to depend on others for their basic needs such as hunger and thirst, and they are not met, it causes anxiety and depression.
Sensory deficits: Loss of hearing and vision may hamper their ability to communicate with others, making them feel lonely and suffer depression.
Side effects of drugs: Some drugs may cause side effects causing behavioral issues
Environmental factors: Unsuitable environments with loud noises, or even too quiet an environment will make the dementia patient feel depressed.
Relationship of dementia patient and caregiver: Due to miscommunication conflict may arise, making it more difficult for the caregiver to take care of the patient, leading to anxiety
Management of the Behavioural issues in Dementia
• Physical activities such as walks and exercise, group interaction with others
• physical and social contact with other living beings in the form of pet therapy
• Therapy to improve sensory loss, through hand massages, music, and art
• Giving simple household tasks such as folding clothes that makes them feel that they are being useful
• To improve the cognitive deficits, patients can be given tablet computers and other devices that stimulate their brain
• Education programs for caregivers to help them better deal with their patients
Management through various therapies can help reduce the depression, anxiety, and aggression seen in dementia patients.
To seek help or know more about dementia and how to manage the behavioral symptoms of dementia, you can visit the Neurology and Sleep Centre, the 1st sleep centre in the country accredited by the Indian Board of Sleep Medicine at L-23, Hauz Khas Enclave, New Delhi, Delhi-110016 (INDIA)
Or give a call on +91-11-46070321, +91-9643500270,
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