The Positives of Dementia

When we think of dementia, we might that it’s a negative, awful diagnosis. Dementia is described as a disturbance in a group of mental processes that include memory, attentional, perception, and language. 70% of patients with dementia have common behavior disturbances which include agitation, mood disturbances and psychotic symptoms.

Dementia is typically diagnosed by evaluating a patient’s medical, mental and psychiatric history. With an outcome as such, it can be devastating and hard to imagine a positive side of the disease. 

One medical professional recently suggested that most patients have positive outlooks on life and start to learn benefits of getting their diagnosis.

A patient study where the group had a diagnosis of dementia or another mild cognitive impermanent found that their dementia diagnosis wasn’t as bad as they had originally expected. The study asked the patients about how they viewed their quality of life since the diagnosis. 

The questionnaire, called the Silver Lining Questionnaire (SLQ), measures data and results of the participants. The study also has shown that positive benefits of their quality of life have improved with their:

Personal Relationships

Appreciation for Life

Influence on Others

Personal Inner Strength

Changes in Life Philosophy

The Silver Lining Questionnaire, different from a Neuropsychiatric Inventory questionnaire (NPI), has also been given to cancer patients and terminally ill patients who have felt similar outcomes. The NPI is normally used with dementia patients to measure changes in behavior and other symptoms including hallucinations, anxiety, and agitation. After studying the results of the Silver Lining Questionnaire, dementia patients seem to have a positive outlook on certain factors in appreciation and acceptance of life, less concern about failure, self-reflection, tolerance of others and courage to face problems in left. They feel now that they’re able to strengthen a relationship with others and find new opportunities to meet people.

This study suggests that having a negative outlook on a diagnosis are just as common as positive outlooks.

Many caregivers would also agree that the person they are caring for, start valuing the simpler moments in life. Many families feel that once a loved one is diagnosed with dementia, that it’s the end of the road. Living with dementia isn’t necessarily easy, but positive interventions and stores have helped many people who are living with dementia and their families.

Source: Dr. Jicha presenting the study data at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Toronto.

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