Frailty and Dementia

Frail older people:

The frail state is one where vitality is low or lacking altogether, and a person has less strength and resilience to withstand physical and emotional stress. Frailty renders a person vulnerable to illness and injury.

Older people with memory loss and confusion:

Working with elders who are living with various degrees of dementia (including Alzheimer’s) is an area of my work that I especially appreciate. I find I have a temperament and the skills most needed for working with memory loss and confusion. Dementia is a condition that is often misunderstood.  Dementia: irreversible memory loss and confusion, caused by strokes, Alzheimer’s  type plaques and tangles in the brain, Parkinson’s disease and other degenerative conditions of the brain and nervous system.

Dementia can be considered mild, moderate or severe according to the following criteria –

Mild – an experience or even can be remembered but without its details and nuances: questions and storeis are repeated: there is a pull towards social withdrawal and isolation.

Moderate dementia – longer term memory is accessible but short term memory is very impaired; personal care can be accomplished but it frequently requires prompting and some assistance. .

 

I often work with older people who are more alone in their lives. There are increasing numbers of older people who do not live near family, who have outlived many friends or who find themselves alone much of the time, even if living in a facility. And some have families that may live in the area but are very busy. The elder may still be able to manage their day but without someone to really talk to and be listened to with plenty of time, the possibility of losing their mental and physical abilities increases Also tracking their medical needs becomes more serious.

 

Severe dementia – personal care requires close assistance; ability to reason and understand information is seriously impaired.