Dementia is a disease that interferes with one’s ability to live a normal life as it causes a severe decline in an individual’s mental capability. The disease which is degenerative and often associated with old age impairs human cognitive functions such as memory, communication, and thinking. There are several different kinds of dementia with Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia ranking at the top of the list.
Other types of dementia that occur include Lewy body dementia which occurs due as a result of protein deposits in the brains nerve cells and is characterized by symptoms like those of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson disease and frontotemporal dementia which encapsulates several different diseases including Pick’s disease. Frontotemporal dementia typically occurs when the brain’s temporal and/ or frontal lobes die, or there is a change in the pathways connecting the lobes. Dementia occurs in seven different stages depending on the amount of cognitive decline, and each of these stages has different experiences and symptoms.
There have been estimations in various reports that the number of people suffering from the disease around the globe to be about 47.5 million, people and according to reports by health experts this number keeps growing due to the many lifestyle changes that have occurred over the different generations. Because the occurrence of dementia amongst individuals has increased over the years, it has become crucial and almost mandatory for people to educate themselves on various aspects of the disease such as managing the disease as it can take a toll on both the person suffering from it and those around them. The paradigm shift from dementia being a disease associated with old people to once that can affect literally anyone regardless of their age, there are several different ways through which individuals can learn about the disease. Some of those ways include:
Workshops and Online Training Programs
Workshops and online training programs on dementia are another great way to learn about the disease. This is because they enable knowledge transfer and give individuals access to numerous global databases and information on the disease. This platform helps people learn and understand about dementia much easier and quicker. The courses on these platforms are available all throughout the day for 24 hours.
The platforms offer course such as “Approaching Dementia: First Responder Training,” “Dementia Awareness” and “Dementia Warning Signs,” and so much more. All these workshops and programs help you get dementia ready should you find yourself in a position where you must deal with dementia, or you suspect that someone you know is experiencing symptoms of dementia.
Individuals suffering from dementia and their families/caregivers can learn about the disease via support groups. Support groups are a great source of inspiration, encouragement, and information, and they can either be online or offline depending on what an individual’s preference is. They are also extremely helpful, particularly for individuals who were diagnosed with the disease in its early stages. Through these groups, it becomes easier to understand what the disease is all about as well as manage expectations. By sharing experiences, problems, and frustration, people are not only able to learn from each other, but they are also able to find comfort from people who somewhat understand what they are going through.
Simulation Apps and Technological Advances
Like with many other fields, the healthcare industry has experienced many huge advances with technology playing a role in most of the processes and rapidly changing how procedures are conducted. Dementia is one of those diseases that have substantially benefited from the said technological advances through simulation apps. The simulation apps play a crucial role in teaching individuals about dementia and how it affects the person suffering from it and how caregivers and family can manage and support the patient appropriately.
One such app is “a walk through dementia,” which gives insight on what living life with dementia is like. According to the app designers, every dementia patient has a unique experience, and as such, the app shows the different symptoms that dementia patients find to be challenging. That way, caregivers can understand what the patients are going through and can understand how to give better care and be empathetic to those suffering from the disease. There are many other apps available in the market that help people learn about the disease and offer insights into different elements of the disease.
Medical publications and books are a reliable way through which individuals can learn about dementia. Most of the medical publications available are usually written by certified medical experts/ practitioners, which means that they are knowledgeable and can be trusted to give reliable information on the disease. Today medical publications are available both online and offline, and they can effectively prepare you to ably manage patients with the condition.
For medical publications, it is recommended that they are used in consultation with the medical expert, especially when trying to understand treatment/ caregiving options. This is because sometimes diseases have similar symptoms, and it is easy to confuse/ self-diagnose one disease for another. Working together with a medical practitioner/ expert ensures that the likelihood of a wrong diagnosis being passed is avoided and that information on the disease is imparted effectively.
Dementia is a challenging disease, and often people affected by it often have a hard time accepting what is happening to them or those that they love. Because the disease affects more than just an individual’s brain, it is usually extremely demanding especially for caregivers and families, but with proper preparation and education, it becomes much easier to manage the disease and care for a loved one.
By learning about dementia, you get to learn about the symptoms and treatment options of the disease and acquire the skills needed for behaviour management. Learning about dementia helps individuals to cope with the disease, provide the best level of care, and decide on the long-term care possibilities for the patients. There are many cases of individuals suffering from dementia who have managed to live well despite the disease, and through education, it is possible for others to do so.