The Elderly and Dementia Term Paper

Total Length: 1483 words ( 5 double-spaced pages)

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The Aging Population and Dementia

Introduction

Dementia is generally defined as a problem that impacts the elderly population and includes “impairments in cognitive and intellectual ability, memory, language, reasoning, and judgment that interfere with everyday functioning” (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2014). The two leading types of dementia in the world are Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia (Livingston et al., 2017). Dementia is a problem for the elderly population because it is so prevalent and still somewhat poorly understood. As Jayadev et al. (2010) point out, the cause of the disease is still relatively unknown, which makes treating it difficult for care providers. An average of 25 million elderly people suffer from some form of dementia in developed nations—and that number is double in developing nations (Livingston et al., 2017). The best that care providers can hope for in this situation is to treat it by using preventive care interventions, such as environmental interventions. The study by Jensen and Padilla (2017) focuses on patient-centered care approaches to help reduce the number of problematic behaviors demonstrated by elderly patients with dementia. This paper will provide background information on the problem of dementia and analyze the study by Jensen and Padilla (2017).

Background

The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s, and approximately 60% to 80% of all cases of dementia are categorized as Alzheimer’s. 10% of elderly persons over the age of 65 suffer from the symptoms of dementia and 30% of persons over the age of 85 suffer from it (Ministry of Health, 2018). Dementia negatives impacts the person’s memory and mental functioning, making it difficult for the elderly person to remember once familiar persons and places. Those who suffer from dementia are often confused, frustrated, and can became violently angry. Risks associated with the onset of dementia include lifestyle choices such as smoking, not getting enough exercise, poor diet, and so on (Ministry of Health, 2018). Dementia impacts both the aging population and the their loved ones (typically their children as the children are usually the ones tasked with coping with their parents’ disease and attempting to care for them on a regular basis). Frustration can occur for both the elderly and their children, friends and loved ones. As this disease can impact between 1-3 out of every 10 aged persons, it important that it be understood and that effective treatments be developed.
The disease is a significant concern for the elderly population as it is so prevalent. The World Health Organization estimates that 47 million people in the world have dementia and that the problem is getting worse: it is estimated that by 2030, 75 million people may have it (WHO, 2017). An estimated 5.7 million Americans currently suffer from a form of dementia (Alzheimer’s Association, 2018).

The Study…

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…that can be used “to address behavior, perception, and falls” (Jensen & Padilla, 2017, p. 7). The aim of the study was to highlight the measures that other researchers had identified as effective in the past and to gather this evidence into a single review to make the information more accessible for care providers. The researchers succeeded in this task because they clearly described the methodology they used, meaning it could be duplicated by other researchers in the future to verify the study. However, the limitations of the systematic review do indicate that the information presented may not be wholly reliable because of the matter of too insignificant of sizes of samples used in the literature reviewed.

Conclusion

In conclusion, dementia is a problem that can impact 1-3 out of every 10 elderly persons in the U.S. Around the world it impacts millions every year and the numbers are only getting worse. Patients suffering from dementia and their loved ones need ways of coping with the disease as there is presently no cure for it and only a minimal understanding of how it occurs and why. The systematic review by Jensen and Padilla (2017) helps to shed some light on the most effective approaches to treating the problem of dementia in the elderly. Their qualitative study focused on conducting a literature review of more than 150 relevant studies, including randomized controlled trials and….....

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References

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2015). Non-pharmacologic Interventions for Agitation and Aggression in Dementia. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from http://effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/index.cfm/search-for-guides-reviews-and-reports/?productid=1999&pageaction=displayproduct

Alzheimer’s Association. (2018). Facts and figures. Retrieved from https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/facts-figures

Jayadev, S., Leverenz, J. B., Steinbart, E., Stahl, J., Klunk, W., Yu, C. E., & Bird, T. D. (2010). Alzheimer’s disease phenotypes and genotypes associated with mutations in presenilin 2. Brain, 133(4), 1143-1154.

Jensen, L., & Padilla, R. (2017). Effectiveness of environment-based interventions that address behavior, perception, and falls in people with Alzheimer’s disease and related major neurocognitive disorders: a systematic review. American journal of occupational therapy, 71(5), 7105180030p1-7105180030p10.

Livingston, G., Sommerlad, A., Orgeta, V., Costafreda, S. G., Huntley, J., Ames, D., ... & Cooper, C. (2017). Dementia prevention, intervention, and care. The Lancet, 390(10113), 2673-2734.

Ministry of Health. (2018). What is dementia? Retrieved from https://www.health.gov.il/English/Topics/SeniorHealth/DEMENTIA/Pages/Background.aspx

WHO. (2017). 10 facts on dementia. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/dementia/en/

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