Identify a common perceptual, neurological, or cognitive issue and discuss contributing factors. Outline steps for prevention or health promotion for the patient and family.
Dementia as a Cognitive Issue
Human beings are incomplete without a fully functional cognitive process aspect of the brain. Cognition is a mental process that entails knowledge acquisition and comprehension of the brain. Consequently, cognition functionality has several issues that could trigger their malfunction. One of the common cognitive issues is dementia. The condition is one of the major causes of various forms of disabilities in older people. Notably, there is an increase in the number of dementias globally. It is also predicted to increase significantly high in most of the developing countries. This paper, therefore, discusses dementia, its contributing factors, and patients and family prevention steps.
Dementia is a chronic and persistent mental processes disorder that usually results from brain disease or brain injury. It is marked by memory disorder, personality changes, and impaired reasoning. Therefore, it can collectively be described as an assemblage of several declines in an individual’s cognitive capability and increased forgetfulness. Its effects lead to impaired communication and thinking capability. Additionally, some of the common symptoms of dementia include recent memory loss, familiar task completion difficulty, and communication problems (MacGill, 2017). More symptoms include disorientation, misplacement of paraphernalia, moods and personality changes, and loss of initiative.
Notably, dementia as a cognitive issue develops in numerous steps. These steps include mild cognitive impairment, which is characterized by general forgetfulness. It then progresses into mild dementia, where the state of forgetfulness affects one’s life. This is followed by moderate dementia, where the situation or condition becomes a challenge (MacGill, 2017). Moreover, the condition progresses into a severe stage of dementia where the patient has worsened symptoms like the inability to communicate.
Several factors increase a person’s risk of developing dementia. Age is one of the common and well-known risk factors that increases a person’s risk of developing dementia. Old age – above 65 years- is associated with various conditions that make it easy to develop Alzheimer’s disease or vascular dementia. Some of the old-age conditions associated with dementia include high blood pressure, heart diseases and stroke, immune system changes, DNA, cell structure, and nerve cells, including loss of sex hormones. Additionally, another known risk factor for dementia is gender. Females are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than males due to a lack of estrogen hormones after menopause. Furthermore, genetics is another critical risk factor for dementia, and it is highly probable to develop dementia if one of the relatives has the condition through inheritance. Moreover, the condition can also be developed due to medical conditions like depression. Other risk factors include smoking, lifestyle, excessive drinking, and head injury.
Patient and Family Preventive Steps
Both family and individual patients can implement various steps to prevent the development of dementia in society. One of the steps is engaging in regular physical exercise, which aids in slowing any further deterioration for someone with mild dementia. Additionally, susceptible individuals, including family members, should engage in social activities in the local community, including hanging out with friends or visiting public places (Smith, Robinson, & Segal, 2019). Furthermore, families should ensure a healthy diet that helps in weight and sugar level management, including fats. Moreover, individuals should engage in mentally stimulating activities, avoiding depressions, and have a proper stress management criterion. Subsequently, individual patients should have a regular visit to hospitals for check-ups.
MacGill, M. (2017). Dementia: Symptoms, treatments, and causes. Retrieved 11 March 2021, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/142214#dementia_stages
Smith, M., Robinson, L., & Segal, J. (2019). Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia – HelpGuide.org. Retrieved 11 March 2021, from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/alzheimers-dementia-aging/preventing-alzheimers-disease.htm