What is dementia?
We can hear the expression “demency” in a lot of cases when talking of elderly people, still we are not always aware what it actually means.
Demency – or old-aged stupidity – is a very complex group of symptoms. It is an expanded cognitive injury, which includes memory disorders but does not include mental disorders. Patients suffering from demency cannot easily remember what happened a couple of minutes or hours before, but they can whenever recall earlier events.
Among the cognitive functions the general intelligence, the abstract way of thinking, the spatial orientation abilities, the learning and remembering, the language and problem solving skills, the orientation in time, the attention and concentration, the judgemental skills and social functions damage. Even the personality, behavior and mood change of the effected person.
The patient suffering from demency looses his/her lifelong acquired abilities and skills either progressively or suddenly. The patient is limited in his/her way of living. They have troubles in everyday routine activities and self-sufficiency.
The degree of demency can be moderate, middle or severe. Patients with moderate demency keep their self-sufficient abilities besides fierce cognitive deficit parts, their personal hygiene is still sufficient, their decision-making abilities are enough for their needs. Patients suffering from middle-severe demency maintaining the individual lifestyle is problematic and dangerous. The patient requires regular help for everyday life activities - in case of no attaching mental or somatic disorder - the constant attendance is not necessary. Patients with severe demency however require constant attendance, neglect their own hygiene, is disoriented in time and space and have an incoherent way of thiking.
The loving and patient attitudes, the empathy provided by the professionals surrounding the patients significantly help the victims to face their conditions.
In the St. Donatus Hospital the screening of patients’ conditions, the diagnosis of the demency and the eventual other mental disorders are done by a professional team of pshiciatrists and clinical psychologists.