What is Dementia
According to the Dementia Organization South Africa ….
“Dementia is a chronic illness that affects intellectual functions such as thinking, memory, behaviour and emotion leading to gradual mental incapacity. The disease destroys large areas of the brain leaving its victims mentally incapacitated and thus vulnerable to abuse and neglect. It can be caused by various disorders, some of which are treatable and some not. The illness affects all races, genders, and socio-economic groups. Although it is not a normal process of aging the elderly are more at risk.
Dementia is a progressive, degenerative brain disease. It results in ious cognitive disorder. Dementia may be static: the result of a unique global brain injury or progressive: resulting in long-term decline in cognitive function due to damage or disease in the body beyond what might be expected from normal ageing. Although dementia is far more common in the geriatric population, it may occur in any stage of adulthood. This age cut-off is definitive of dementia, as similar sets of symptoms (due to organic brain syndrome or dysfunction) are given different names in populations younger than adult”.
What is Alzheimer's
According to the Alzheimer’s Organization South Africa ….
“Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Dementia is a collective name for conditions in which progressive degeneration of the brain affects memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion. While the risk of developing dementia increases dramatically with age, most older people do not develop the condition. It is not an inevitable consequence of getting older. Just one in five people in their eighties, for example, are affected by it.
Symptoms may include:
- loss of memory
- difficulty in finding the right words or understanding
- what people are saying
- difficulty in performing previously routine tasks
- personality and mood changes
Dementia is not a normal part of ageing. It knows no social, economic, ethnic or geographical boundaries. Although individuals experience dementia in their own way, eventually those affected are unable to care for themselves and need help with all aspects of daily life. There is currently no cure”.
Safety & Security for the elderly
As we age, our physical abilities decline and our reaction time slows. We cannot respond as quickly as when we were younger, making us easy targets for criminals and also more susceptible to accidents in our own homes.
Stay safe when you go out
Preferably go out with family and/or friends rather than on your own. If you are going out alone, let someone know – a neighbour, family member or complex guard. Avoid walking early in the morning or late in the afternoon and avoid lonely or badly lit areas. Carry a cell phone with you, with emergency numbers stored in it.
Stay safe at home
If possible have an alarm fitted, with 24 hour emergency medical, fire and burglary response. Ask your security company to provide a mobile panic button and carry it with you (or wear it round your neck) whenever you are in the house.
If you have a security gate, keep it locked at all times. Make sure doors and locks open and close easily without jamming. Make sure your house number is large, well-lit and unobstructed so that emergency personnel can find your home quickly when needed. If you live in a retirement home, ensure you have communication with the guard at the main gate.
Install rails and grab bars in the bathroom and on stairs to reduce the chance of a fall. Get rid of loose rugs or install non-slip backing. Keep emergency numbers next to the phone, or programmed into a cell phone. Use a microwave rather than an open stove top to heat food. Turn down the thermostat on the geyser to avoid accidentally scalding yourself.
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