Defined as a condition involving progressive brain failure, seen mostly in the elderly population, leading to decline in social,occupations, and daily life activities, DEMENTIA is divided into three stages.
Stages of dementia -signs and symptoms
I) Early stage is marked by deficits in:
Memory: Short term memory loss; Misplaces items; Misidentiﬁes items; Loss of sense of direction.
Cognitive ability: May not be able to do simple arithmetic or tell the time.
Coordination: Reﬂexes become slower; May not be able to drive safely; Difficulties in carrying out activities of daily living;May need assistance with hygiene, bathing, dressing,etc.
Mood and behaviour: May have mood swings; social isolation; depression; delusions.
Language: May be less talkative; vague expressions; May have difﬁculty ﬁnding the right word.
II) Middle stage
Memory: loss of both short and medium term memory; unable to form new memories.
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Cognitive ability: Inability to make decisions and problem solve(jig-saw puzzles);Disorientation to time, place, person, event; Loss of ability to make proper judgement; Needs to be told repeatedly inorder to understand.
Coordination: Higher risk of accidents and falls; shows clear thought and action disconnect; Loss of balance; clumsy and/or poor coordination;More dependent with hygiene, dressing;Loss of coordinating actions for toileting, sitting and speciﬁc tasks;Incontinence occurs.
Mood and behaviour:Mood swings; Increasingly self-absorbed and less sensitive to others’ feelings and shows little emotional warmth;Loss of understanding of relationships; Restlessness, pacing, wandering;delusions or hallucinations, paranoia(becoming suspicious);Increasingly self-absorbed; Disturbed sleep.
Language: Speech slows, can be repetitive, have pauses and interruptions and have broken sentences;Loss of vocabulary, uses made-up words, sentence construction is poor;Reduction in understanding of spoken and written language.
III) Last stage
Extensive memory loss and cognitive decline.
Coordination: Often unable to walk or stand by themself. Eventually may be unable to swallow. Inability carry out activities of daily living; Becomes totally dependent for all care needs.
Mood and behaviour: Often agitated; Socially withdrawn; Loss of recognition of person, place, event and time
Language: Loss of vocabulary; Echoes other people’s words and repeats own words; Inability to comprehend information and instructions;