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in you answer I want you to ask this classmate another question related to her/his answer so the conversation will keep goin.
I think that the fear of memory loss exists, not only because adults are wanting to be able to remember loved ones and themselves/their own experiences, but also their knowledge obtained throughout the years is apart of their value in society. The “wisdom” that comes with old age and getting older is a big factor for a lot of adults feeling their own worth in their home, work place, etc. Loosing this, along with the fact that it is also causing them to loose their own identity I would say is a big factor in the fear that exists. With this being said, I do think that this fear is justified. I think that younger people do not fear memory loss as much as older adults because it is not as common to happen to them, therefore it is not in their list of worries. However, as time goes on and an individual gets older, the reality of things like dementia or Alzheimer’s gets much more realistic. This fear of loosing one’s memory is just as justified as the fear of loosing a limb, family member, or one’s own life.
I think if I was talking with someone who was afraid of losing their memory, I would explain with them their chances, and also the treatments that are in place to try and help with this. I would focus on them living now in the present, and not being distracted from living their life because of the fear of memory loss. I would encourage them to learn more about what they are afraid of and to become educated on it, so that there is more facts involved, and less speculation based off of things seen on TV or the media.
RE: Memory Loss #038; Alzheimerâ€™s
I think the fear of losing memory is a warranted emotion that is natural. The powerpoint and Chapter reading mentions that maximum lifespan is not simply about quantity, but quality. Older adults fear loss of memory because it has a significant impact on their quality of life. Activities of daily living (ADLs) are altered if memory is declining. Consequently, older adults end up relying on others for assistance in ADLs and this jeopardizes their sense of independence and therefore the quality of the life they created, is affected. Imagine that we grow up to become independent. We spend the majority of our lives learning and striving to become independent and once we are old, that success is challenged by memory loss and other declines. The fear of memory loss is justified because as children, as adolescents, we work to become independent and in adulthood, we work to maintain independence only to lose it. It is terrifying if you consider older adults that may not have family or friends to help support them. When we think of infants, toddlers, and school-age children, adults often feel obligated to take care of them. However, the same sentiment is not for older adults although they may need the same attention. I would tell an older adult that memory loss will come. And although we do not know the intensity and we cannot reverse time, let us think of things we can do that can help intervene for the time being. I would help them figure out ways they enjoy being active so that they can include physical activity into their daily routine. I would try to instill a sense of personal control over things that can be controlled at the time. We cannot control the aging process but we can control how we respond to it and create a healthy mindset to cope with the changes.
RE: Mental Disabilities in Late Adulthood
There are a few things to consider if the older adult should be informed of their diagnosis. Some individuals with dementia experience hallucinations, paranoia, memory loss, confusion, wandering, irritability, and sometimes they be may aggressive and combative. I think it’s important to identify if the individual has family support and also identify if the family is proactive in the health of the older adult. If the older adult is alert and oriented and able to understand their condition, I think it would be important and helpful for the family and the older adult to be aware of the diagnosis. I think it would be the best course of action because in this case, the older adult is still able to make decisions about their health and they’re also able to make decisions for the future when their condition gets worse. In the scenario where the older adult’s condition is advanced and they are experiencing symptoms where they are a danger to themselves and others, it would not be beneficial to inform the older adult of their condition. The older adult may be aggressive, combative, or paranoid. The older adult may not understand what they are being told and they may want to run away from their caregivers. It would be ideal to have them get familiarized with their caregiver because maybe the caregiver would be able to give the older adult cues to remember who they are and deescalate their outbursts. These are considerations but symptoms are different for everyone and it would depend on how advanced and severe the person’s condition is if they should be informed of their diagnosis.
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