A+ A A-

Seniors, Mental Health and Memory Disorders

Dementia disorders are the most common mental health problem amongst seniors. The following are some symptoms, Prevalence statistics, risk factors, treatment options and outcomes.

An attribute to this disease is memory loss and loss of basic cognitive abilities. There are many types of dementia disorders that affects an individuals behaviours and brain activity. Brain activity affects a person’s memory and their body functioning capacity.

Dementia disorders are the most common mental health problem amongst seniors, resulting in memory loss and loss of basic cognitive abilities.

There are many types of dementia disorders that affect an individual’s behaviour and brain activity.

Alzheimer disease, the most common disorder, affects over 6% of all Canadian seniors (Care Planning Partners).

Vascular dementia is caused by strokes, and affects 20% of people with dementia (Canadian Study of Health and Aging).

A similar numbers of seniors are affected by dementia caused by Lewy bodies, protein deposits in the brain’s nerve cells which cause impairment in their perception, thinking, and behaviour. They also experience visual hallucinations, Parkinson's-like symptoms, and fluctuating alertness .

Symptoms of Dementia

For a health practitioner to diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease requires evidence of memory loss as well as additional cognitive side effects, such as language difficulties, or a loss of words or inability to organize, follow through with activities in the correct order or unable to plan. Symptoms must be out of character for that person.

Statistics

On average 6 to 7% of Canadians over the age of 65 are affected by this disorder. The risk increases with age to 17% of those over 75 and 35% of seniors who are 85 years and older meeting the diagnostic criteria for dementia (Care Planning Partners).

Risk Factors

Approximately 50% of individuals with a family history of Alzheimer’s disease will develop the disorder in their late age (80-90). The aging process of the brain is a factor in the development of the disease. Some therapies that generally delay the development of the disease are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, formal education, and estrogen replacement therapy. The other dementias mentioned above are not generally genetically influenced.

Treatment

There are many activities that can help before and after diagnosed with the Disease. Brain stimulation plays an important role in combatting this illness.

Positive reinforcement when a person with this disease completes a daily activity that they now struggle with getting dressed, housework, eating and the like

Group discussions with peers to recall events in a person’s life

Support, education, and other activities to increase brain activity

Medication can help control the disorder. For behavioural symptoms generally antipsychotic and antidepressants drugs are used.

Outcomes

Dementia diseases are progressive and treatments are to improve, slow down or stabilize the symptoms of dementia.

Caregivers can support the seniors with dementia for some time, but residential care is designed to minimize the disability and take of the stress associated with this disorder for the patient and the caregiver.


Related Articles

  • Are You Fit For Retirement?

    Advances in medical technology have made it possible for you to live a third of your life after retirement. In 1970, life expectancy in Canada was 69.3 years for males…   more ]
  • Changes to physiotherapy services for Ontario's seniors

    Although the Ministry of Health announces changes to physiotherapy services for Ontario's seniors on April 18, 2013 , in essence eliminating physiotherapy services in retirement homes, they indicated that an additional…   more ]
  • Eight Brain Fitness Tips for Mental Well Being

    The following are eight tips to help keep your brain active and sharp. 1. Go on a guided tour of a museum or another site of interest. Pay very careful…   more ]
  • Increasing Frailty

    As we age, increasing frailties, caused by various conditions such as heart disease and stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson disease, vision deterioration, arthritis, diabetes, incontinence and others results in our…   more ]
  • Life Expectancies

    Life Expectancies Canadian males and females have one of the highest life expectancies at birth in the world as seen in the table below. In 2002, Canadian males were outperformed…   more ]
  • Motivational Ideas to Keep You Active

    Here are some motivational ideas. Remember : today is the first day of the rest of your life. Old and tired has more to do with your attitude. You can…   more ]
  • Normal Aging vs. Signs That Something's Wrong

    Our hair turns white (or falls out).  We need glasses.  We don't move as quickly as we once did.  Others comment that the TV is too loud.  We expect to…   more ]
  • Ontario Seniors Driver Program

    Ontario's senior driver programs aim to keep seniors driving for as long as they can safely do so.  Once drivers reach 80 years of age, starting April 21, 2014, senior…   more ]
  • Physiotherapy at Home

    More than 90 percent of incidents that result in injuries are predictable and preventable. Modifying the home and reducing hazards in the community can reduce the risk of falls by…   more ]
  • Treating Muscle Weakness For Seniors

    By Mark Ma, M.Sc., R.TCMP, R.Ac. A common health issue that seniors face is deterioration of their muscle strength. Because of that they find it increasingly difficult to perform simple…   more ]
  • Walk for Health

    Walking may be the best fitness activity for many seniors, given the relatively low physical risks and the enormous long-term health benefits. These 'Walking Tips for Seniors' are designed to…   more ]
  • Walk To Health and Happiness

    Feeling a bit down? Need a boost? Put on a comfortable pair of shoes and go for a walk. A brisk 30-minute walk will lift your spirits and brighten your…   more ]