Dementia Awareness

Unit 13 Dementia Awareness

      1.1. The term “Dementia” is a chronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes caused by brain disease or injury and marked by memory disorders, personality changes, and impaired reasoning.
      1.2. The key functions of the brain that are affected by Dementia: the neurons and synapses of the brain become damaged by dementia they may
have difficulty or be unable to carry the messages that tell the sections of the brain
what to do. Depending on the area of the brain affected, this can result in changes to
the way the individual thinks, or may result in physical impairments, personality and
behavioural changes or the inability to perform certain functions.
Area of the brain | functions that could be affected by dementia |
Frontal lobe | Movement, emotional behaviour, personality, interpretation and feeling |
Parietal lobe | Language, spacial awareness and recognition |
Temporal lobe | Long-term memory, speech and hearing |
Occipital lobe | Vision |
Cerebellum | Balance, posture, muscle coordination (movement) |
Hypothalamus | Regulates thirst, appetite, body temperature and also sleep cycles and patterns of sleep |
Thalamus | Muscle movement and processing sensory information |
Hippocampus | Processes recent memories into stored memory |
Limbic system | Emotions and smell |

      1.3. Depression, delirium and age-related memory impairment may be mistaken for dementia because these conditions may show similar symptoms to those of dementia.

2.1. The medical model of dementia - Dementia as a clinical syndrome is characterised by global cognitive impairment which represents a decline from previous level of functioning, and is associated with impairment in functional abilities and, in many cases, behavioural and psychiatric disturbances.

2.2. The social model of dementia - The social model of care seeks to understand the emotions and behaviours of the person with dementia by placing him...