Dementia Awareness Essay

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Unit: Dementia Awareness This unit must be assessed in accordance with Skills for Care and Development’s Assessment Principles. Learning Outcome 1: Understand what dementia is Assessment Criteria 1.1. Explain what is meant by the term ‘dementia’ Dementia is a term used to describe a range of signs and symptoms that occur when the brain is affected. Chemical and structural changes in the brain damage and kill brain cells, dementia is a progressive disease and this simply means that the symptoms will gradually get worse. Neurons and synapses become damaged by dementia they may be unable to carry messages that tell a section of the brain what to do. 1.2. Describe the key functions of the brain that are affected by dementia Frontal lobe - Movement, emotional behaviour, personality, interpretation and feeling. Parietal lobe - Language, special awareness and recognition. Temporal lobe – Long term memory, speech and hearing. Occipital lobe - Vision. Cerebellum – Balance, posture muscle, coordination. Hypothalamus – Thirst, appetite, body temperature, sleep cycles and sleep patterns. Thalamus – Muscle movement and processing sensory information. Hippocampus – Processes recent memories into stored memory Limbic system - Emotions and smell. 1.3. Explain why depression, delirium and age related memory impairment may be mistaken for dementia Depression is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. A person who is depressed can often show similar signs or symptoms to a person that has dementia. Depression can effect concentration, motivation, ability to manage everyday task and social withdrawal. Delirium is a toxic or acute confusion state which may be mistaken for symptoms or signs of dementia. Delirium signs and symptoms can be hallucinations and delusions, changes in perception, attention, mood activity levels. Severe confusion and

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