Care of the Older People


What is dementia? What are the physiological and psychological changes that occur for the older person with dementia?
Dementia, is defined as an acquired deterioration in cognitive abilities that impairs the successful performance of activities of daily living.
Memory is the most common cognitive ability lost with dementia; 10% of persons over age 70 and 20 to 40% of individuals over age 85 have clinically identifiable memory loss.
In addition to memory, other mental faculties are also affected in dementia, such as language, calculation, judgment, and problem solving. Neuropsychiatric and social deficits develop in many dementia syndromes resulting in depression, withdrawal, hallucinations, delusions, agitation, insomnia, and disinhibition. The course of the disease is progressive.
Dementia is a progressive and largely irreversible clinical syndrome that is characterised by a widespread impairment of mental function. Although many people with dementia retain positive personality traits and personal attributes, as their condition progresses they can experience some or all of the following: memory loss, language impairment, disorientation, changes in personality, difficulties with activities of daily living, self-neglect, psychiatric symptoms (for example, apathy, depression or psychosis) and out-of-character behaviour (for example, aggression, sleep disturbance or disinhibited sexual behaviour, although the latter is not typically the presenting feature of dementia).
Dementia is associated with complex needs and, especially in the later stages, high levels of dependency and morbidity.
Explore the persons needs in relation to the condition
Person-centred care
This guideline offers best-practice advice on the care of people with dementia and on support for their carers. There is broad consensus that the principles of person-centred care underpin good practice in the field of dementia care and they are reflected in many of the recommendations...