Dementia: the Management of the Chronic Condition

Introduction

The patient, in this case, is a seventy-seven-year man who has been admitted with a condition, which is perceived to be dementia. The reason why the man is perceived to have this condition is the symptoms that the patient was showing. Among them was the agitation and being emotionally upset. Through accessing these symptoms and other symptoms, the paper will answer the questions provided and provide answers on the management of the chronic condition in question.

The chronic condition that is currently affecting your patient

The patient in question is suffering from dementia. By definition, dementia is just a term that is used to describe a collection of various symptoms in a patient. Some of the symptoms that are associated with dementia include a decrease in the functioning of the intellect of the patient, as well as cognitive ability. In turn, this results in a scenario where the person’s normal functioning decreases, and even in some cases two or more major functions are usually impaired (Marks, 2011). The main functions that risk impairment is perception, memory, language, reasoning, and judgment. When it comes to reasoning, the patients have a problem with their ability to solve problems and may even lose behavior control as well as emotional control.

Dementia has many classifications schemes are usually due to the observable problems that the patient seems to suffer. The observable problems may range from primary problems, secondary problems, cortical problems, subcortical problems, and finally progressive problems. Primary problems are usually caused by the existence of some diseases in the patient, for example, a patient who is having Alzheimer’s disease (Maria, 2010). On the other hand, Secondary classification occurs due to an injury or a disease that is affecting the patient. Cortical classification is due to the problems in the memory, the language problem, and also problems on the way the patient is thinking. Subcortical classification is due to problems that are in existence that affect the patient’s emotions, memory, and movement. Finally, the progressive way of classification occurs when the cognitive abilities of the patient tend to worsen over a short period (Bährer-Kohler, 2011).

The primary classifications are the main causes of dementia among the patients. To start with, Alzheimer’s disease is the main cause of dementia among patients. It usually affects patients who are above sixty-five years of age (Maria, 2010). The cause of the disease is due to amyloidal plaques. Later, other functions of the body are affected. The affected parts of the body include the following the memory of the patient, the judgment of the patient, the way the patient moves, the way the brains of the patient functions, as well as the behavior the patient exhibits. The second main cause of dementia is vascular dementia. In this case, dementia results from the brain of the patient being damaged due to the occurrence of stroke, or what is commonly known as cardiovascular problems. The symptoms exhibited by the patient of dementia caused by vascular dementia resemble Alzheimer’s disease and can be misinterpreted. However, it is notable that in patients suffering from this disease, their emotions are not affected in the early stages of the disease until the later stages (Jones, 2010). The third main cause of the disease is Lewy body Dementia. Just like the previous two, the disease is common among the patients. The main cause of the disease is dying of the brain cells, especially the cortex brain cells. The symptoms exhibited by the patients of this disease tend to overlap and be similar to the ones shown by patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. However, unlike the patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, the patients tend to hallucinate and have postures that are flexed. It is also worth noting that the symptoms of this disease tend to vary daily (Wayne & Smith, 2009). Alternative therapies are treatments that are aimed at helping the patient to deal with the disease better. They may include such treatments as yoga, massage, and Acupuncture. However, alternative therapy does not supplement full medical care.

When it comes to treatment, dementia requires the patient to seek medical attention from the doctor regularly throughout their life. Tests need to be carried out so that doctors can keep on evaluating the symptoms that are in existence with the patient. Notably, treatment of dementia is dependent on the cause of the disease, and therefore, the best approach is to reverse the changes (Davis, 2011).

The experience of the patient with their chronic condition, and comparing this to the typical lived experience of those with this condition

Dementia was more severe to the patient in question as compared to other patients. Immediately the patient was admitted to the hospital, the patient was unable to give out basic information. Proven programs were to be used to get the basic information from the patient. The patient was also noted to be agitated as well as being emotionally upset. The symptoms pointed to Alzheimer’s disease. As research has shown on most patients suffering from this disease, the sickness tends to occur when the patient is above the age of seventy years, which is similar to this case, as the patient is notably seventy-seven years. However, the case of the patient in question is different as he has no record of this disease, which is uncommon as patients suffering from this disease tend to experience it in the fourth or fifth decade of their life (Parfitt, 2010). The patient in this case experienced it at an age past the age of forty years. It is also notable that patients suffering from this disease usually inherit it, since it is usually in their genes, a case which is different from this patient. Just like any other Alzheimer’s disease patient, the patient showed loss of memory as well as finding it difficult to make the daily living activities (Yaffe, 2008). Communication was also problematic for the patient.

Such symptoms are usually common among patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. However, an unusual occurrence is noted about the patient. At some point in the medication, the patient remembers that he is not thinking. The behavior is a notable unusual occurrence as improvement in the memory of the patient is remarkably not that drastic. At one point, the patient was not remembering anything and at the other point, the patient remembers that he was not thinking and he starts to remember. On the same note of the unusualness of the patient, he suddenly improves on his appetite. Such is uncommon in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease as their thinking capability is usually impaired to such a point that the daily routines are usually forgotten. Alzheimer’s disease is known to affect the occupational functioning of a patient, however, the patient in question has no complaints of sleeping problems and weight loss (Sink, 2011). The symptoms exhibited by the patient in the initial stages were a clear indication of a patient suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The same was replicated in the later stages of the disease as the movement and the abstract thinking of the patient were affected. The behavior of the patient was also notably affected giving more reason to conclude that the patient was suffering from dementia (Thake, 2008).

The difference in perception of the patient and the family compared to the general community regarding the chronic condition

On realizing that the patient is suffering from dementia, the first step by the family as they took the patient from the hospital to Bundoora Extended Care Center to seek more treatment. Such is uncommon among patients and their families in the general community. Most people who have patients suffering from dementia, prefer looking for family caregivers for the patient and prefer the patient to be kept out of the institution (Sink, 2011). For many people, having a caregiver is the way to go since they are known to provide better emotional support to patients as well as giving the patients social services needed to keep them stable and away from hospitalization. The general community has the perception that the care centers provided by the government are inconsistent when offering their services to the general public (Galvin, 2010). The perception did not seem to affect the patient and the family as they were glad enough to consider and take the option of taking the patient to a care center. There is also a lack of confidence with the care centers and the public has gone on record to believe that the physicians who run these centers do not grant the patients the right medication at times. The general public also views family care as a potential family on the way they treat the patient, which is not the case with care centers where patients are treated as clients (Zieve, 2009). The much paperwork that is required by the care centers when the patients are being taken care of is also a reason that leads to the preference of the home caring for the patient than in care centers. The family of the patient is seen not to consider these as they prefer to take their patient to a care center.

Self-management education the patient requires, as well as the discharge plan and community referrals

For self-management, there are several things patients suffering from dementia need to learn. For a start, the patient should be able to optimize the function and the quality of life he/she is enjoying. The patient should also be able to capitalize on the remaining strengths. The meaning of this is that the patient should try to better the type of life he/she is living (Redman, 2006). In case the patient may be using drugs, it is at this time that he/she should start since the disease even gets worse when the health of the patient is not good enough. The patients should be able to accommodate lifestyle changes that are medically fit. As noted, the remaining strengths of the patient should also be put on focus to help out the patient in improving the condition that he or she is in, since the disease usually affects the brain part of the body and not even the entire brain. The other parts of the body that are not affected should be strong to fight the disease. Secondly, the patient should result to addressing the causes of impairment of functioning and cognition. Notably, impairment of the body functioning is caused by specific causes, and this is what the patient suffering from the disease should focus on. When the focus is made on the specific causes of impairment, the behavior symptoms are likely to be reduced.

Thirdly, the patient needs to be able to manage the deficits that occur in his/her functioning capability. The disease comes with dysfunctions of the body and it is the responsibility of the patient to take the initiative of ensuring that he/ she can minimize them when they occur (Low, 2007). Moreover, maintaining good health and avoiding such behaviors like drinking could help out to solve this problem. The fourth thing the patient should be able to address to successfully fight the disease is the psychological issues that may arise. The disease comes with psychological issues and it is upon the patient to take the initiative and be abler to counter them. Failure to do it may weaken the patient and may lead to the disease overcoming the patient. The patient also needs to address the unacceptable behavior symptoms that he/she may exhibit. The focus here is for the patient to act normal and avoid any socially unaccepted behaviors. The other thing the patient needs to learn is to access other ethical studies that relate to the disease. A good example is to share the information so that they can get help and also allow other people to take responsibility for some of their issues so that they can get help (Stanton, 2007). Finally, the patient is called upon to be in a position to manage any other complication that may come about due to the disease and at the same time, be able to handle the existing conditions.

The discharge plan that the patient is subjected to should be able to offer confidence to the patient that they are going to recover from dementia in due time. It should therefore be able to offer them the satisfaction they desperately need of getting well soon. The person assigned to take care of the patient suffering from dementia should also be knowledgeable about the disease. The need to have the person knowledgeable should be to make sure that any complications or any development that may occur on the patient are easily identified and dealt with. Accessing the discharge plan should also be there to make sure that the patient’s developments are discussed among relatives and the patient. A patient suffering from dementia should be able to enjoy community referrals. The community referrals are the resources the community may offer to patients suffering from dementia (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2011). The sole purpose of these services is to improve the quality of life of the patient in question. The community referrals are beneficial to the sick as they give a sense of belonging; since they are in a place where they know the people they are working with.

Conclusion

In conclusion, according to the case study, it is highly likely that the patient in question was suffering from dementia. The reasoning behind this is backed by the fact that the patient exhibited behaviors by the patient. The patient in question had symptoms that reflected that he was suffering from dementia. The symptoms ranged from the reasoning to the thinking of the patient. To be able to manage this chronic condition the patient needs to follow the self-management and discharge plans outline above as they are of great assistance in making the patient better.

References

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