Let me begin by telling u a good story. It is an amazing story that will grab your attention, but, u knw what, I can’t remember the story at all now..
How many times does this happen to people? Forgetting something really important? Lapse of memory can be a pretty good medicine for a human life on earth. Hatred, jealousy, mistakes and errors of our life, incidents with negative impacts, when forgot, add joy to the value of life, but the magnificent human brain also tends to lose the memory of the important work given by the higher officials in office, forget lessons taken by our teachers with hard effort during exams, some forget their childhood friends who had added colour to their life, and some forget the helping hands which helped them during the time they felt completely hopeless. Everyone’s brain tends to forget things in life so, these are common but when this loss of memory goes beyond an extent, it creates problems and becomes a disease called dementia. Dementia is a disease which usually makes the brain slow to think.
How do dementia patient’s behave?
Dementia patients may be emotionally disturbed but rarely aggressive or destructive. They may return to childish behavior and be unable to care for themselves. Some withdraw into fantasy and hallucination. Most have serious difficulties in adjusting to reality. In general, doctors can rarely cure this disorder, but they can often help the patients.
These patients suffer rapid mental deterioration. They talk and act in an irrational manner. In some extreme cases the patient believes that other person persecutes him and behaves accordingly. He thinks that people talk about him and they wish to harm him. He even suspects members of his own family. He may accuse others of poisoning him or of following him on the streets.
How should we take care of dementia patients?
People suffering from dementia should be taken care of in a good manner for complete care. It is mandatory to keep them safe. Certain changes must be made to make these patients feel comfortable. Small changes can make a big difference in their life.
What kind of changes are they?
- Signs which are put up must be clear so that they can understand them.
- Signs should be fixed to the place they refer to, and not adjacent to it.
- Signs should be placed at eye level, and variations in font styles must be avoided. Signs for toilets and exits are necessary. Glass doors must have signs for sure.
- Entrances must be well lit and make sure that most of the light in the room is natural.
- Pools of bright light and deep shadows should be avoided.
- Avoid highly reflective and slippery floor surface.
- In large premises – a seating area especially in areas where people are waiting can be a great help
- People with dementia prefer seating that looks like seating , for example, wooden benches rather than the abstract metal Z shaped bench.
- Research shows that people with dementia use landmark to navigate their way around, both inside and outside. The more attractive and interesting the landmark is, the more more easier it is for them to remember as a landmark. (It could be a painting or a plant)
- Avoid sudden and loud noises which could definitely confuse the dementia sufferer.
More than everything, people encountering dementia patients should remember that they only suffer from lack of memory and don’t have a mental disorder. Therefore, they can understand everything that is spoken and every kind of behaviour and so scolding them and making fun of them will surely have a negative impact on them. Nowadays, there are several medicines, ayurvedic ones as well that are available to make them feel better though they cannot cure them completely.
Proper education should also be given to children to prevent dementia as dementia starts from a very young age. Students and workers with too much stress are prone to this disease. Intake of a considerable amount of Amaranthus sp., Lady’s finger, Green tea and several other fresh vegetables and fruits, can decrease the chances of being affected by Dementia.
I spent some of my days with a dementia patient. He neither knows his children nor his grandchildren. He repeats everything for every five minutes, He expects himself to be taken care of like a child. He always wants someone to keep on talking with him.
We are supposed to remember their love when they can no longer remember.
Finally I would like to close with the poem Untitled by Carol Dix
I look into your face
Your eyes stare into space
I try to search deep into your soul
To find the man I once knew
But he is not there.
The emptiness goes beyond compare
Where are you..? I ask.
Where have you gone..?
Speak to me..
I love you still
I want you back
I need you here
But the empty face is still there.
“Gratitude is the memory of the heart.” Thought they have forgotten everything, why don’t we take care of them and create a dementia friendly society? Let’s respect them and treat them with kindness.