Dementia Treatment Essay

2450 words - 10 pages

Running Head: Dementia in older adults

The issue of dementia in older populations is a very prevalent and growing issue. Memory loss and dementia are increasingly prevalent issues that affect older adults and their spouses (McClive-Reed 2010). Due to the fear that surrounds dementia in older patients, a prognosis could lead to a diminished sense of self and reduction in the quality of life, not just for said patient but also for the families or caregivers. In order to better understand dementia and those who suffer from it, let’s look at potential strategies and challenges to engage dementia clients, how to conduct a biopsychosocial assessment of dementia clients, and take ethical ...view middle of the document...

In spurts of confusion, EP is very easily agitated, aggressive and hyper verbal. She lacks insight into her diagnosis, and doesn’t believe she has memory loss or any of the characteristics associated with dementia. When EP becomes aggressive or hostile, she can always be calmed down by a little bit of jazz music, which she greatly enjoys.
EP’s biopsychosocial characteristics could be used to both assist in engaging the client in a supportive relationship, but can also hinder the development of said relationship. One of the major strategies to use in reminiscence therapy is the “ Life Story Book”, where the client, and often their spouse or family, gathers significant memories from the past in the form of photos, journals, mementos etc. to create a life book that tells the client’s story to help them regain their sense of self and self- identity by highlighting, organizing, and making sense of moments that shaped the individual’s life (Scherrer 2013). The goal through creating a “Life Story Book” is to focus on reconstruction of the client’s understanding of himself through creating a narrative with visual triggers and cues (Scherrer 2013). A major challenge here is getting the client to focus on their overall story as opposed to the cognitive gaps in the memory (Scherrer 2013). Another challenge is how to incorporate loss into “The Life Book” with out bringing emotional distress to the client who may not remember the tougher times (Scherrer 2013). When applied to EP, a “Life Story Book,” while potentially being a great aid in reestablishing a sense of self, may also create more depression or agitation for her. For example, EP is no longer in regular contact with her family and by creating this book for herself, she may experience feelings of isolation, loneliness, or feel more lost because she cannot understand why she no longer plays an active role in her family. EP may also find the process in creating the book is very stressful and anxiety promoting because she does not have many photos, journals or mementos to add to the book, further verifying confusion about her life and diminished sense of self. Though the “Life Story Book”, has proven to be a very effective tool in building supportive relationships, it may not work for everybody, specifically EP.
Another strategy to aid with engagement is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), in which triggers, behaviors and reinforces are identified and analyzed (McClive-Reed 2010). Even in cases of severe impairment, trained responses can be elicited and maintained (McClive-Reed 2010). The strategies used in CBT concentrate on increased repetition, transferring focus on negative thoughts to alternative ones, using concrete examples, and providing memory aids such a cue cards and session notebooks, but require a very structured format (McClive-Reed 2010). As far as EP, CBT would be very beneficial to engage her in a more supportive relationship. Repition would help her gather appropriate responses,...

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