Dementia

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Introduction

Dementia is a general term that is used to refer to the group of diseases that affect the optimum normal functioning of the brain (Carole, Carmel, Peter & Kate 2010, p. 436). This disease can easily cause decline of the mental ability. This affects the memory, thought processes, problem solving, concentration and perception of the old people (Heath, Aveyard, & Neno 2007, p. 228).  Dementia exposes the older people to vulnerabilities and challenges that are compounded further when they lack psychosocial support from the caregivers (George, Mellor, Davidson, McCabe 2009, p. 53-54). They are thus victims’ mental, social, physical and economic barriers, all because of their mental states.

The goal of this dissertation paper is to build understanding and answer questions based on empirical study on the barriers faced by the old people in the society and how these could be addressed. Jaime & Freddy (2000, p. 141-142) posits that there has been contention on whether the federal governments, the healthcare practitioners, the social workers and the caregivers are doing enough to support the older people with dementia. According to Hayley, Shega, Joseph & Sachs 2004, p.1058; Sampson 2010, p. 159), it is very evident that the disease continues to deny the older people great opportunities and expose render them victims of discrimination, neglect and abuse.

Methodology

The study will involve survey of social workers on the challenges faced by older patients with dementia especially in matters relating to unsupportive environment (Kort & Hoof 2009, p. 294; Wilkinson 2002, p. 55). Lack of psychosocial support and palliative care for the older patients is a matter that must be dealt with through reformed medical and palliative care reforms (Meiner & Lueckenotte 2006, p. 121; Sampson 2010, p. 159). The mental conditions and perceptions of the mature adults should be studied through a survey to develop understanding on their attitudes towards the discriminative society and their vulnerability (Steven, Bob & Derek 2006, p. 489-491).

The old with dementia should be given nutritional priority by the caregivers (Miller 2009, 215; World Health Organization 2006). The old should also be involved in physical activities and made participative in making decisions affecting their lives (Miller 2009, p. 215; Newton, Boldy, Pescud, Donovan & Pettigrew 2010, p. 142).

Addressing the barriers in medical care, psychosocial support and discrimination calls for the intervention of the caregivers, family members of the older people, and the medical practitioners (Gitlin 2007, p. 278; Jacoby 2008, p. 297). Further studies into policy frameworks for addressing the needs of the older people with dementia should involve the legislators and the welfare societies to effectively develop the right policies for the welfare of the older people.

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