While dementia is marked by such cognitive deficits as disorientation, memory loss and changes in intellectual functioning, these are not the symptoms that cause the most distress to the person themselves and the people caring for them.
Agitation is a communication from the person that something is not right and it is the clinicians role to investigate what is happening and the reasons for the agitation, it is about getting to know the person.
In the middle and later stages of the illness, as many as 50% of patients with dementia will exhibit agitation. The term agitation refers to a range of behavioural disturbances including aggression, combativeness, shouting, hyperactivity and disinhibition It is the symptoms of agitation such as uncooperativeness with necessary care, motoric hyperactivity, verbal abuse and disinhibition that are the most stressful aspects for the people living with dementia.
Providing stimulation can ease a person’s agitation, helping to calm them and focus. Stimulation can be provided through an array of distraction therapies and can help reduce 1:1 Specialling and help improve clinical resources.