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Dementia And The Elderly: Clinical And Social Implications For The Future - Term Paper Example

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This paper considers the prevalence of late-onset dementia affecting elderly people in the world. It outlines the key features of this serious disease and examines the world’s prospects for dealing with its clinical and social impact…
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Dementia And The Elderly: Clinical And Social Implications For The Future
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Download file to see previous pages Dementia renders a person incapable of carrying out his or her normal work and impacts severely on that person’s relationships with others. There is therefore an immediate economic cost to the sufferer and his or her family. As the majority of the sufferers of dementia are elderly, the burden of care often falls on their own elderly spouse, or on adult children, particularly women, many of whom have to care for their own teenage children while at the same time looking after elderly parents suffering from dementia. This adds a considerable emotional and financial burden, affecting the quality of life of caregivers who have been called “the invisible second patients”.
Positive views on future prospects
In a study which analyses the trends in England, Banerjee and Wittenberg developed a model to trace what the costs and benefits would be of increasing early dementia diagnosis and interventions systems. They found that if even 10% of dementia patients could be diverted from residential care then there would be a net gain in the costs associated with treating this condition, since the burden on the health service of treating such people at home is much less than the full time care costs. According to Banerjee and Wittenberg these kinds of improvements “seem very likely to be achievable” since good support for family carers can delay admission to residential care for several years. This early intervention approach also brings a better quality of life for dementia patients, and so there are sound social reasons for pursuing such a policy.

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Impact on society Dementia renders a person incapable of carrying out his or her normal work and impacts severely on that person’s relationships with others. There is therefore an immediate economic cost to the sufferer and his or her family. As the majority of the sufferers of dementia are elderly, the burden of care often falls on their own elderly spouse, or on adult children, particularly women, many of whom have to care for their own teenage children while at the same time looking after elderly parents suffering from dementia. This adds a considerable emotional and financial burden, affecting the quality of life of caregivers who have been called “the invisible second patients” (Brodaty and Donkin, 2009, p. 217). Positive views on future prospects In a study which analyses the trends in England, Banerjee and Wittenberg (2009) developed a model to trace what the costs and benefits would be of increasing early dementia diagnosis and interventions systems. They found that if even 10% of dementia patients could be diverted from residential care then there would be a net gain in the costs associated with treating this condition, since the burden on the health service of treating such people at home is much less than the full time care costs. According to Banerjee and Wittenberg (2008, p. 748) these kinds of improvements “seem very likely to be achievable” since good support for family carers can delay admission to residential care for several years. This early intervention approach also brings a better quality of life for dementia patients, and so there are sound social reasons for pursuing such a policy. In many cases, and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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