2 Biomedical view of dementia Lyman (1989) suggested that the biomedical view of dementia includes three features: First, dementia is pathological and individual, an abnormal condition of cognitive impairment, dysfunction, and mental disorder. Second, dementia is somatic or organic in etiology, caused by progressive deterioration of brain regions that control memory, language, and other intellectual functions, resulting in stages of increasingly severe impairment. And third, although there is currently no cure, dementia is to be diagnosed, treated, and managed according to medical authority.
3 Biomedical view cont. Important to note that the biomedical view can help bring order to the dementia care. It is clear that the deterioration of the person is not a simple consequence of neuropathology; social and interpersonal factors enter into the process too. The impact of AD and other dementia cannot be accounted for solely in terms of neuropathology.
4 Personhood The person with dementia experiences two kinds of change, going on in tandem. First, there is the gradual advancing failure of mental powers such as memory, reasoning, and comprehension, much of which can be attributed directly to the brain being less efficient. Second, there are changes in the social-psychological environment, in patterns of relationship and interaction This perspective emphasizes modifiable conditions that affect the illness experience, in contrast with the biomedical model s deterministic view, which attributes the individual s functioning and behavior problems to the neuropathology of dementia.
5 Personhood cont. It is possible to understand the individual with AD in terms of: 1. the organic disease process. 2. the ways in which others in the social world interact with and react to the AD sufferer. 3. the AD sufferer's reaction to others and to the effects of the disease.
6 Personhood cont. Yet this requires making a decision about the way in which we understand the afflicted - we must decide to see him or her as one whose behavior can be affected by others, who has a valid experiential world, whose behavior can be driven by meaning, who may be tormented by his or her disabilities and what they mean, and as one whose sense of pride, dignity, and the need to avoid humiliation can remain alive long after many cognitive abilities have declined. A more comprehensive approach to AD involves the understanding that a balance between resources and deficits, outer and inner demands can be accounted for at each step or stage of the dementing process (Hagberg, 1993).
7 Four principles 1. The human value of people with dementia, regardless of age or cognitive impairment, and those who care for them. 2. The individuality of people with dementia, with their unique personality and life experiences among the influences on their response to the dementia. 3. The importance of the perspective of the person with dementia. 4. The importance of relationships and interactions with others to the person with dementia, and their potential for promoting well-being.(the fourth principle emphasizes the imperative in dementia care to consider the needs of carers, whether family and friends or paid care-workers, and to consider ways of supporting and enhancing their input to the person with dementia. This is increasingly described as relationship-centered care.)
8 Post (1995) warns against the tendencies of our hypercognitive culture to reduce the moral status of the person with AD and neglect the emotional, relational, aesthetic, and spiritual aspects of wellbeing that are open to the individual, even in the advanced stages of the disease. Dementia is the psychobiological result of interacting social, psychological, and physical or chemical forces in persons with certain emotional, anatomic, metabolic, and/or genetic variables.
9 Dementia Staging Global Deterioration Scale (GDS) developed by Reisberg (1982) is the most common. Broken down into 7 different stages. 1-3 are the pre-dementia stages 4-7 are the dementia stages Important to remember that these are rough stages While progression is expected, it is not necessarily linear
10 GDS cont. Stage 1: No cognitive decline No subjective complaints of memory. No memory deficits observed. Stage 2: Very mild cognitive decline Subjective complaints of memory deficit. No objective evidence from interview or tests.
11 GDS cont. Stage 3: Mild cognitive decline (Mild Cognitive Impairment) Earliest clear-cut deficits. Although subtle these concerns are often noted by those close to individual. May see any number of concerns including repeating questions, executive dysfunction, decline in job performance, unable to learn new skills, concentration deficits, mild language difficulties.
12 GDS cont. Stage 4: Moderate cognitive decline (mild dementia) Clear-cut deficits including Decreased knowledge of current events Some deficit in memory of personal history Decreased concentration Decreased ability to manage IADLs (finances, meals, shopping, etc.) Frequently no deficits in orientation, recognition of familiar places/people, ability to travel to familiar locations.
13 GDS cont. Stage 5: Moderately severe cognitive decline (moderate dementia) Person needs some assistance. Unable to recall major relevant aspects of current life (address, telephone, names of close family members (such as grandchildren), etc. Some disorientation to time and date. Generally retain knowledge of many major facts about themselves. Require no assistance with toileting and eating. May need help choosing proper clothing.
14 GDS cont. Stage 6: Severe Cognitive Decline (moderately severe dementia) May occasionally forget name of spouse. Largely unaware of recent events and recent experiences. May be unaware of surroundings. Diurnal rhythm frequently disrupted. Frequently unable to distinguish familiar from unfamiliar persons in their environment. BPSD common
15 GDS cont. Stage 7: Very Severe Cognitive Decline (severe dementia) Verbal abilities become lost over the course of this stage. Requires assistance with toileting. Incontinent. Requires assistance with feeding. Basic psychomotor skills are lost with the progression of this stage (e.g. walking, etc.)
16 Jack, C. Biomarker Staging Model, Lancet Neurology
17 Figure 2. Pathway of neurofibrillary degeneration (NFD) in aging and AD. Paired helical filaments (PHF)-tau in the different brain areas, as a function of the stages, is shown in gray. A. Delacourte et al. Neurology 1999;52: by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
19 It s time to stop confusing care with treatment There is a need to give purpose Personhood often looks at the psychological, emotional, and social aspects while sometimes looking negatively at the biomedical aspect. Fact of the matter is that in dementia care, there is a need to include ALL of these things. Want to see the person through their continuum. Dementia is a part of that continuum, not all of it.
20 Important to clarify the difference between primary and secondary symptoms of AD (Solomon & Szwabo, 1992). Primary symptoms: those that can be directly related to the neurologic deficit such as memory loss, disorientation, aphasias, diminished problem-solving skills, agnosia, and apraxia Secondary symptoms: those that can be attributed to the individual s attempts to cope with the disorder, limitations in coping skills, an exaggeration of pre-morbid personality, or psychological or behavioral responses by the individual to stimuli in the environment.
21 The individual with AD experiences multiple stresses, many of which are related to the experience of loss. When resources are lost (whether the prime cause is neurological or social-psychological), grief reactions commonly occur. Consequently, living with AD involves the active creation and recreation of meaning and identity, and the negotiation of empowerment, as part of the daily work of living with disability and disablement.
22 It must be said from the outset that a disease is never a mere loss or excess that there is always a reaction, on the part of the affected organism or individual, to restore, to replace, to compensate for and to preserve its identity, however strange the means may be. -Oliver Sacks, 1985.
23 The needs of individuals affected by dementia are extensive, and the management of the clinical syndrome is complex, extending beyond traditional bounds of medical practice. Dementia care requires a broader focus extending to family members, caregivers, and support networks. Dementia care is complex and rewarding care.
24 Dementia care is best when it involves multiple sources that may be integrated and/or parallel. Often involves medical (MD, PhD, nurses, CNA, etc.), therapy (OT, PT, Speech), social work, and other resources. Each specialty is important and necessary. What is lost sometimes is remembering that each specialty also had the mandate to apply a personhood approach (the care) to their specific treatment.
25 Stephen L. Benson, Psy.D. Licensed Clinical Psychologist 111 S. Whittier St. Wichita, KS
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