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Living further and further in the past

As Dementia progresses short term memories are lost first followed by long term memories. The person starts living increasingly in the past

Photo of Devendra Natekar
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As we interviewed caregivers of folks caring for someone with Dementia, we learnt that the person appears to "regress" increasingly to an earlier age. This is because as dementia progresses shorter term memories are lost first followed by longer term memories. This results in the person increasingly living in two worlds the present and the past which is (1) disconcerting to the caregiver (2) unfamiliar to the caregiver. This causes the caregiver to try to pull the loved one into the present which creates problems (behavioral and cognitive) for both the person with Dementia and caregiver. This also seems to increase depression and anxiety

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

If we can educate the caregiver and give them tools which help them recognize when their loved one is living in the past as well as tools to connect with them in this world of the past, that could help manage behaviors and emotions including depression and anxiety

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Photo of Bala Muhammad Makosa

Nice indeed

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