chapter  32
8 Pages

How to improve care for the elderly with cognitive decline and feeding difficulties Sylvie Lauque

Withcareg1

Introduction From the knowledge that behavioural changes in dementia patients have specific organic correlates in the brain, more understanding arose for people with dementia. Today the behavioural changes of dementia patients are also understood within the wholeness of the patient as a person. That means that at least a part of the patient's behaviour is seen in the light of (normal) coping with the (disease of) dementia. The patient's perception (and thus coping) with dementia is now understood as an interplay between the cause of the brain damage, the stage of the dementia process, the individuallife.history (including amongst others, attachment history and eventual old psychic pain), personality and the way the patient has been dealt with by his (social) environment both before and after the assessment of the disease. Nowadays, dementia has been recognized as an individual trauma, drama and tragedy both for the people with dementia and for their family; and, along with that, the social status of the disease is increasing and the possibilities for intervention by amongst others psychoeducation and psychotherapy/counselling are overwhelming.