Unit 4222-237 Dementia awareness
Outcome 1 Understand what dementia is
1. Explain what is meant by the term ‘dementia’
Dementia is the progressive decline in cognitive function due to damage or disease in the body beyond what might be expected from normal aging. Unlike Alzheimer's disease, which is a specific change in the brain, dementia is more of a generic term that can include many conditions and various causes. Dementia is not a single disease in itself, but a general term to describe symptoms such as impairments to memory, communication and thinking. While the likelihood of having dementia increases with age, it is not a normal part of aging. Before we had today's understanding of specific disorders, "going senile" used to be a common phrase for dementia ("senility"), which misunderstood it as a standard part of getting old. Light cognitive impairments, by contrast, such as poorer short-term memory, can happen as a normal part of aging (we slowly start to lose brain cells as we age beyond our 20s). This is known as age-related cognitive decline, not dementia, because it does not cause the person or the people around them any problems. Dementia describes two or more types of symptom that are severe enough to affect daily activities. Symptoms that are classed as "mild cognitive impairment" - which, unlike cognitive decline, are not a normal part of aging - do not qualify as dementia either, since these symptoms are not severe enough. For some people though, this milder disease leads to dementia later on.
2. Describe the key functions of the brain that are affected by dementia:
1) Frontal Lobe – this is the part of the brain that controls behavior, movement, personality and the interpretation of what is around us
2) Parietal Lobe – this is the part of the brain that controls the language we use, special awareness and recognition of places, objects and people.
3) Occipital Lobe – this is the part of the brain that controls eyesight and our ability to see...