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For Your HealthBY RACHEL PALLETT, OTR/L, Rehab Services DirectorManaging Dementia with Occupational, Physical, and Speech Therapeutic InterventionDementia, do you ever wonder what exactly dementia is? Do you ever ask yourself “What can be done about de- mentia?” or, “How can I help my loved one with dementia?”Dementia is defined as:a chronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes caused by brain disease or injury and marked by memory disorders, personality changes, and impaired reasoning.(Oxford Dictionary)Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Memory loss is an example. (Alzheimer’s Association)Dementia occurs when a person’s brain cells are damaged and their ability to communicate with each other are interrupted. When one’s brain cellsThe Laurel Way of Caring, We Do It Every Dayare unable to communicate effective-ly and/or sensibly it is evidenced by diminished thinking, thought organiza- tion, memory, and feeling regulation. Diagnosis of dementia is done by a physician. There are several types of dementia with the most common type being Alzheimer’s. There are a large variety of additional types of dementia beyond Alzheimer’s, the most common are Lewy Body dementia, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and mixed dementia.cognitive decline), stage 4 (moderate decline), stage 5 (moderately severe de- cline), stage 6 (severe cognitive decline – middle dementia), and stage 7 (very severe cognitive decline – late demen- tia). With each of these stages, thereWhen you or your loved one has a di- agnosis of dementia there are stages you can expect to progress through. These stages are sometimes classified simply into the three stages of dementia – mild (early), moderate (middle), or severe (late). However, a more precise staging of dementia can be used and is repre- sented as follows: stage 1 (no cognitive decline; no impairment), stage 2 (very mild cognitive decline), stage 3 (mildare defined expected impairments that coincide with each stage. It is imperative to know that dementia progresses differ- ently and individually for each person. Additionally, it is important to point out that not everyone with dementia will progress the same way, go through each stage independently, and/or experience every stage. One’s disease process is in- dividual to that person and the rapidness with which the disease process progress- es is unique to each individual as well.FOR A VIRTUAL TOUR VIST www.laurelsobedford.comof life by sustaining independence and self-worth for independent task comple- tion. As loved ones, it is very common to want to help as much as possible. However, unintentionally we “over-do” for patient’s and can inadvertently take away one’s self-worth and value while aiding in their functional decline.We Provide Top Quality Nursing Care & Therapy!SERVICES WE PROVIDE• Skilled Nursing Care • Respite Care• Palliative Care• Wound Care• Short-Term Rehab• Outpatient Rehab• Stroke Rehab• Joint Replacement RehabAlthough dementia of any kind is not curable at this time it can be managed. Sometimes it is managed with medi- cation by the physician. It can also be appropriate for therapeutic intervention such as skilled occupational and/or phys- ical therapy. Occupational therapy will offer both caregiver and patient educa- tion and retraining specific to the stage the patient is identified to be functioning in. For example, in the early stages, an OTR/L can provide teaching and training for cueing, organizing, use of external aids to help the patient to continue to function as safely and independently as possible. While, as the disease process advances, the OTR/L can assist with functional activity retraining to facilitate the patient to maximize their qualityPhysical therapy can help your loved one with dementia to maintain their balance and mobility. A physical therapist (PT) will work with a patient to retrain their neuromuscular system to facilitate ongoing safety and independence with walking, transfers, and balance through exercise. Additionally, a patient’s PT will educate the caregivers on how to assist with maintaining one’s ability to stay upright and safe for as long as possible.22 SCENE 4409 I HEALTH ISSUE(269) 968-2296 • www.laurelsofbedford.com270 NORTH BEDFORD ROAD • BATTLE CREEK, MI 49037

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