Dementia Isn't Mental Illness

Like a caregiver of individuals with dementia, I simply hate to know people applying the language of psychiatry to dementia. It really serves to produce barriers to relationship and understanding. It does not help whatsoever.

Instead it encourages members of the family, who might not understand the differences, to consider their Mom or Dad or Grandpa to be mentally ill. Given the large quantity of prejudice from the mentally ill nowadays, we actually don't wish to bring that to the approach we take to take a look at elders with dementia.

I blame Hollywood for thing about this. While using word dementia and demented to explain people way unmanageable only has tended to confuse everyone much more.

Five Words To not Use About Dementia:

1. Paranoia:
Individuals with dementia aren't paranoid. They're scared since they're losing their short-term memory and should not keep an eye on life. You'd feel likewise;

2. Combative:
They aren't violent due to dementia. They hit you when you're an unskillful, invasive, bossy caregiver;

3. Perseveration:
Repeating exactly the same words, phrases or questions again and again. That's actually not because of anything psychiatric. It's because of short-term memory issues and long-term emotional needs which possibly aren't being addressed;

4. Delusion:
Thinking they're residing in another time zone out of this isn't properly classified like a delusion when a couple of things are in work -- short-term memory fragmentation, coupled with memory intensification of long-ago experiences;

5. Hallucination: Whether it's dead people visiting visit, sorry but that is an ordinary a part of senior years and dying life. It is extremely rude to classify a universal phenomenon present in ever culture as mental illness in a single of these. Who's to express the dead can't visit? Definitely not a psychiatrist of no faith whatsoever. In hospice work, the visits from the dead to living are named very comforting and never otherwise classified.

Allow me to just remind you WHY we ought to not easily permit the language of psychiatry to the realm of dementia. Since it has a tendency to nullify communication between your person with dementia and their caregivers.

Caregivers who allow psychiatric jargon to explain the life span of the person with dementia lose meaningful relationship using their person. They have a tendency to dismiss any chance of either admitting there's real meaning to a lot of from the communications. They frequently turn to psychiatric medications, that are merely chemical restraints and frequently quite bad for the individual with dementia. There are lots of reports now from both Britain and Canada, along with the Usa, demonstrating a higher death rate among elders with dementia being wrongly medicated with anti-psychotic drugs.

It's not uncommon to have an elder to possess what's usually known as dual-diagnosis conditions. That's, to have dementia also to be mentally ill. Being an observer, I observe that all too often mentally ill elders are thrown willy-nilly to the dementia population where they might actually result in a large amount of trouble because of their mental illness.

Additionally , it encourages inattentive and ignorant caregivers at fault things on dementia which strictly fit in with the realms of mental illness. Groups of such elders are often only too pleased to have their parent put in a dementia unit because care is much better and caregivers more sympathetic compared to a geriatric psych unit

However, to really do this is really a type of wrongful death which puts everyone in danger. It will continually be challenged by care staff in dementia or memory care units and may continually be reported anonymously towards the state licensing authority.

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