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Social Work with Dementia Patients Essay

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HISTORY OF DEMENTIA:
The human brain is extraordinary organ. It stores our memories, vision, hearing, speech, and capable of executing executive higher reasoning and functions setting us apart from animals. Today we know more about the human brain because of medical advances and the development of technology. These brain disorders have been studied for years and many others would classify dementia as a mental illness because it causes cognitive impairments. The following paragraphs will discuss what dementia is, what the types of dementia are, perspectives of patients with dementia as well as the perspective of a caregiver to a dementia patient.
The first case of dementia was discovered in 1906 by a German physiatrist Alois Alzheimer. It was first observed in a female patient and she was forty-one years old her name was Auguste D. Dr. Alzheimer observed a decline in the patient’s cognitive abilities. She lost her memory, she exhibited behavioral issues, and she suffered from hallucinations, lost the ability to comprehend language, disorientation and lost her speech. After Augusta’s passing Dr. Alzheimer preformed an autopsy that showed the classic triangles and knots we associate today with Alzheimer. Those triangles and knots are a proteins and plaque. The brain is self looked smaller and had distinct characteristics. Still with modern medicine the only way to diagnose a person with Alzheimer is after their death with an autopsy. (THE ALZHEIMER'S PROJECT, 2014).
While there is little difference between dementia and Alzheimer it is important to distinguish the two. Dementia is, “ a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life” (Alzheimer Association, 2014). While Alzheimer is, “is a ...


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Diagnosing Alzheimer's disease: Patient History, Exams, and More. (n.d.). WebMD. Retrieved May 3, 2014, from http://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/guide/making-diagnosis
Glass, J. (2012, March 13). Diagnosing Alzheimer's disease: Patient History, Exams, and More. WebMD. Retrieved May 3, 2014, from http://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/guide/making-diagnosis
HBO. (n.d.). The First Discovery. HBO: Documentaries: The Alzheimer's Project: Hope in Science: Understanding How the Brain Changes. Retrieved May 3, 2014, from https://www.hbo.com/alzheimers/science-the-first-discovery.html
Nerney, C. (2014, April). Dementia. Lecture conducted from Massachusetts’s College of Liberal Arts, North Adams, MA.
Weekly, Alzheimer. (2012, August 21). Experience 12 Minutes In Alzheimer's Dementia. YouTube. Retrieved May 3, 2014, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LL_Gq7Shc-Y



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