What interfere with social or occupational functions and

What is Dementia?

The word ‘dementia’ is a term used
to describe when the brain has been damaged through diseases. A set of symptoms
include; deterioration of a person’s cognitive functioning, communication
skills, behaviour and memory. These symptoms can be “severe enough to interfere
with social or occupational functions and worsen over time” (Stewart 2004, p.
148). As the disease can interfere with social skills and a sense of self this
can lead to the patient becoming depressed as well as developing physical illness,
such as difficulty walking and eating on their own. (DementiaUKtypes) The most
common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, but others can include a series
of strokes. (What is dementia, p3)The differences between forms of dementia are
unclear and a mixture of forms can often co-exist. There is no cure for
dementia, however there are treatments available to help slow down the
development of the condition and temporarily reduce some of the symptoms. These
include medication, occupational therapy and other psychological therapies (NHS
website1).  A common misconception of the
dementia is that the symptoms of disease, such as memory loss are all part of
the aging process. Although age increases your risk of developing the disease,
it is not an inevitable part of the aging process. Dementia can affect the
younger population too, with people under the age of 65 accounting for up to 9%
of cases. (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs362/en/)

 

Age and Dementia on a
Global Scale

The number of people with dementia is estimated to be around
50 million globally and expected to nearly by triple by the year 2050 to around
152 million, an increase of 204%. The majority of people who are suffering from
dementia, live in middle income countries. Arguably this statics prevails, as
low income countries tend to have a lower life expectancy there this reduces
the prevalence of dementia. However the high income countries have already seen
huge increases to their population and healthcare; increases that upper middle
income countries are now experiencing, which therefore means that prevalence of
dementia will be rising more rapidly in lower income/middle income countries.
For example research shows that from the years 2015 to 2050, the number of
people living with dementia in low income countries will increase by 264%
compared to high income countries that will rise by 116%. The global picture of
dementia prevalence is complex due to the differences between countries in the
same region, which why the graph seen here, you seen less variations between
similar regions. As well as this the number of people in Asia is expected to
rise the rapidly due to the rapid increase in their population. (https://www.dementiastatistics.org/statistics/global-prevalence/)
Dementia mainly affects the older population, however it isn’t a part of the
aging process.

 

Age and Dementia
within the UK

The economic cost to the National
Health Service, social care and their families is £26.3 billion a year
(Dementia UK). At the current estimation there is 850,000 people in the UK
living with dementia, which is set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. This
means that one in every 79 people in the entire of the UK are living with
dementia (Dementia UK). These figures indicate the need for society to have a
better understanding of dementia. That it is not only a part of the ageing process,
but rather a disease of the brain (GOV.UK).

 

 

Age and Dementia and
how it’s discussed in the media

According to a study carried out by
Roger Harrabin, a leading correspondent with the Radio 4 Today programme found
that most health experts and policy-makers were “unhappy” with the way health
issues covered in the news media. Maintaining that media would give importance
to “scare” stories rather than issues that were imperative to public health
(KINGSFUNDPG4).

Majority of people would accept,
including researchers that the quantity of someone’s life isn’t ideal without a
quality of life. Within research concerning age the key outcome is to keep
people alive, which would be meaningless if the said person was to have no
quality of life. Therefore if were to focus on age related diseases such as
dementia, ageing itself has to remain a factor. (HowWeThinkAboutDementiaPg36)

People with dementia and their
carers have reported having seen doctors and having told them about their
concerns over their memory (or other physical problems), been given the
response of: ‘It’s just your age’, giving the impression that if they were
younger their claims would be taken more seriously
(HowWeThinkAboutDementiapg39). This attitude in affect can be damaging to the
elderly, as they are encouraged that getting older automatically means that
they have to accept the idea that your body and mind is deaerating and that
they are in a sense, becoming worthless.

 

 

 

How this negative
stigma can be alternated with the use of art therapy

The use of art therapy has been supported for not only
allowing the patients to feel a sense of relaxation, but can also help towards
increasing the patients levels of optimism, self-esteem and general quality of
life. However in terms of alzheimer’s disease, music therapy has the most
research to suggest improvements to the patients than any of the other
therapies. Dr. Potts founder of Cognitive Dynamics, suggests that through his
experience that a “combination” of the arts is the most effective of ultilizing
there therapies; “For example, art therapy plus music and dance. Or, within an
art therapy session, combining cre ative writing and poetry”. He goes on to
state that “What is certain is that all of them work better when reminiscence
and personal expression make up an integral part of the therapy, where care is
taken to not only help patients reminisce, but also to validate their present
reality”. (Alzheimers.net2014)

Within regards to music therapy, a person with dementia
will often remember lyrics from different songs and hymns even though other
parts of their memory are damaged. Singing can often help lift moral, energy
levels and help the patients feel connected. This in part helps with the
patients communication skills, as singing gives the patient a voice that
otherwise might not have in their day to day lives. This in turn with playing
music that is familiar to them, such as a favourite song or a song significant
to their childhood can help to triger past memories. (https://www.dementiauk.org/music-therapy/)

·        
Recreational therapy? Engaging the patient? How
it improves their quality of life? How it improves with behaviour and
communication skills?  Research to back
this up.

Art Therapy “helps exercise those
areas of the brain that are still functioning well and increases quality of
life by providing opportunities for sensory stimulation and self-expression”
(Stewart, 2004, p.150)

·        
Reminisence therapy, used to help the patient
remember, improve memory?

Within late onset dementia, patients are often denied freedom
and basic human rights, as they often put under physical and medical restraints
within care settings, even with regulations put in place to allow patients to
be afforded the right to freedom and choice. (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs362/en/)