Mental health articles

OF mental health care and mentally ill

how to deal with dementia

Dementia is a progressive and terminal disease. It is essential that you should diagnose this disease only if there is clear evidence (as described below).
Questions to ask the family or friends
• When did you first notice a problem? Often, a relative will recall symptoms starting several months or years before help was first sought.
• How did the illness start? Does the elderly person have a problems remembering things, such as names, or which day it is? Memory problems are the classic symptoms of dementia, but can also
occur in depression.
• Does she have difficulty with everyday activities such as eating and bathing? If so, this would suggest dementia.
• Does she behave in an odd manner? For example, does she become aggressive or agitated? Again,
these symptoms are more typical of dementia.
• Has she seemed sad or lost interest in daily life? These are typical symptoms of depression, but can also occur in dementia.

• Has she suffered from a mental health problem in the past? If she was depressed in the past, then there is a higher chance that she may be depressed again.
• Who is the main carer for the elderly person? How is he coping? The carer often needs counselling and asking him about his experiences is a useful way of understanding his needs.
Questions to ask the elderly person
• My name is … I would like you to repeat this. Now, please try to remember my name. These questions will check for the ability of the elderly person to remember new information.
• Can you tell me what day of the week this is? What year? This will help check for orientation to time.
• Can you tell me what this place is? For example, that this is a clinic. Where is this place? These will check for orientation to place.
• Can you tell me what you had to eat at your last meal? This tests for the ability to remember recent events.
• Now, can you tell me what my name is? This tests for whether the person was able to remember your name which you had told him earlier.
• If the person appears to understand the questions reasonably well, you should now ask questions about feelings and emotions.

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