Psychology and Psychiatry

Psychological assistance for dementia

Psychological assistance for dementia It is absolutely necessary for people suffering from this disease. It is also important that psychological care is provided to caregivers for people with dementia, as they experience adverse psychological effects and distress every day.

The problem of older people is that they are less likely to be sent to specialists for psychotherapy. Presumably the reason lies in the fact that such people rarely have social significance and perform important work. Therefore, the treatment of older people, the maintenance of their functioning is not such a high priority of medicine.

Research scientists have confirmed the effectiveness of psychotherapy in the elderly. An overview of the database suggests that interpersonal, cognitive-behavioral, cognitive-analytical psychotherapy, as well as systematic and psychodynamic approaches can help elderly people with dementia.

Psychological assistance for dementia is a key element underlying high-quality psychiatric treatment. However, some experts believe that psychotherapy is not suitable for patients with senile dementia, since they often have impaired speech function. But most patients are able to communicate effectively in the early stages of dementia. These people not only maintain the safety of their personality, but also want to understand what position they are in. Other specialists give supporting psychotherapy a major role, since it helps patients with mild disability to adapt to their condition.

One of the problems in the treatment of dementia is informing a person about his diagnosis. Disagreements still remain between general practitioners and psychiatrists about what the patient should be told about. Studies on this issue show that patients want to have complete information about their diagnosis, they need the truth about the disease, its prognosis and treatment.

Supportive psychotherapy is a useful method and a beneficial effect on the quality of life of people suffering from senile dementia. Supportive psychotherapy is difficult to define. The psychotherapist in essence helps the patient, supporting and encouraging him. Supportive psychotherapy is characterized by reliability, regularity, attentive attitude of the psychotherapist to the patient. Such techniques as stimulation of feelings and reason, advice, persuasion, exhilaration, retraining of people with fragile psychological state, psychological counseling are used.

Psychological assistance for dementia focuses on - help and support, not suppression and pacification. The goal of supportive psychotherapy is a substitution form of treatment, endowing a person with psychological functions that are either insufficient or absent.

Individual psychotherapeutic assistance is to conduct conversations, the purpose of which is to increase self-esteem and maintain, improve psychological functioning and adaptive skills of people with dementia.

During psychotherapeutic care, the specialist performs a directing and active role, helps a person to improve social functioning skills and the ability to cope with difficulties and everyday problems. The emphasis is mainly on improving subjective experiences and behavior.

Psychological help for dementia - tasks

To help patients in achieving possible social and psychological adaptation, reinforcing and restoring their ability to cope with everyday problems and vicissitudes of fate. Maintain a sense of self-confidence and self-esteem, emphasizing the patient’s achievements and positive qualities. To tell people about the reality of their life situation (about their limitations, their abilities in treatment). To prevent timely recurrence of the disease, trying to stop the deterioration. Target patients to seek some professional support, which will contribute to the possible adaptation of patients.

The components of supportive psychotherapy are reassurance, which is of great importance to the patient. In a patient, misunderstandings and doubts should be eliminated and focus should be focused on positive qualities. In order to be effective, encouragement must be made realistic. The purpose of encouragement is to create a psychological climate of hope and expectation of positive change.

The psychotherapist gives a detailed and thorough explanation of the disease, focused on "here" and "now." The main task is to improve the patient's ability to cope with difficulties without increasing the level of self-analysis.

Psychological help for dementia includes tips that are acceptable and desirable. The patient must know when to seek help. It is important for the patient to develop not only coping skills, but also to understand when to seek help.

The suggestion, which holds a doctor, causes by the impact of changes on the individual, both explicitly and implicitly. Encouragement enhances self-esteem, prevents the development of feelings of inferiority and contributes to the manifestation of adequate forms of behavior. To achieve significant changes in the patient, it is necessary for him to change his environment.

Active benevolent listening, patient acceptance, convince the patient of the reliability and safety of the situation, which facilitates frank and full communication of information about his illness.

Relatives caring for sick people with dementia also experience daily distress, staying close by. As close relatives experience adverse psychological effects every day, they also need psychological help.

Psychological assistance to relatives of patients with dementia includes:

- alternation of the mode of patient care and personal rest;

- Periodic change of scenery (departure for nature, communication with pleasant people, doing your favorite thing);

- abstraction from the problems of the patient with dementia and switching his attention to positive things (watching television programs, reading literature, communicating with healthy family members, playing sports, etc.).

Psychological assistance to patients with dementia from their relatives is:

- in constant explanations, advice;

- in empathy (empathy);

- in cheering, learning and motivation;

- in daily praise;

- in raising the patient's self-esteem;

- prompting hope;

- in solving everyday problems;

- in changing the environment;

- in support - to encourage a person to focus on past achievements.

Relatives of patients with dementia (marasmus, Alzheimer's syndrome) should understand their closure in themselves, emotional and physical isolation, hypochondria, somatization, obsession with lost opportunities and memories of the past.

The main task of the relatives is to treat the patient as a person, and not as a problem. Proper adherence to all of the above principles can reinforce the patient’s strengths, improve the skills to overcome difficulties, both in his and his carers.