Primary Care Physician’s Help in the Faster Recovery of Dementia
How Does A Primary Care Physician Helps in the Faster Recovery of Dementia?
Primary care physicians are more than emergency physicians. They have first contact with a person with an undiagnosed disease so, they witness and care for the changing conditions of disease with time. In the case of dementia, the primary care physicians provide the proper care to the patients to delay and slow down the worsening of the disease.
What is Dementia?
Dementia is a broad term that includes the loss of many important mental abilities like thinking, reasoning, or memory. A person suffering from dementia becomes unable to interact socially with others. So, doctors observe the medical history and symptoms of the disease to diagnose the cause of the disease.
Some of the tests performed to diagnose the dementia are
- Blood Tests
- Psychiatric Evaluation of the patient
- Various neurophysiological tests
Is it possible to cure dementia?
The cure of dementia depends upon the cause of this condition and it can be reversed if treatable factors are causes of it but it cannot be cured if some irreversible diseases like Alzheimer’s disease etc. are causes. To slow down the disease, several treatments have been devised.
Role of a primary care physician for preventing dementia
Primary care physicians, in most cases, are the family physicians of people. They remain connected with the person from the start to the last stages of the disease and can diagnose the disease better. They provide various kinds of medical assistance like the prevention of progression of the disease, early diagnosis, staging, and the postdiagnosis management of the disease.
Below are some contributions of the Primary Care Physicians in the case of dementia
- Prevent the onset or worsening of dementia
The primary care physicians are fully aware of the risk factors of dementia. This disease is more than just a bad effect of aging. Many diseases like hypertension, obesity, depression and the diet of a person affect this condition. Proper diet, exercise, and maintaining the social interaction of the sufferer can slow down dementia.
- Provide an early diagnosis
The family care physicians keenly observe the changing conditions of the patient from time to time and detect the changing behavior and thinking abilities of the patient. The early diagnosis helps the physician and the family of the patient to devise some plans to tackle the conditions in the future.
Dementia causes a lot of stressful and depressive conditions with time. Proper planning and the start of medical treatment can help better to delay the worse conditions. It is only possible if the disease is diagnosed in the early stage. Some conditions are usually confused as dementia and the primary care physicians exclude them. Mineral deficiencies, infections, and tumors and are curable and the patient returns to normal life after treatment.
- Determine the stage and type of Dementia
Dementia is not just about memory loss which can be an age-related issue. This type of memory loss does not impair the other activities of a person. The primary care physicians evaluate the stage of dementia a person is at for the start of the treatment.
Various tests are performed to determine the type and stage of dementia. These tests also evaluate the current mental abilities of the person and MRI is one of the recommended ways of diagnosis.
- Communicate about the disease and provide postdiagnosis management
The primary care physicians are connected with the person for a long time, so they can communicate about the disease better than anyone else. This can help the physician and the family to support the patient in a good way.
Postdiagnosis management includes the start of the medication that helps a lot in the management of the disease. The primary care physicians deal with the other co-occurring conditions. They provide full support to the patients and their families. If any unusual condition is observed, patients are referred to specialists.
Treatment of Dementia
Although, this condition is not curable. Following are some of the ways to manage the symptoms.
Some medicines are available to improve the condition of dementia. The medicines can be:
- Cholinesterase inhibitors that work as memory boosters
- Memantine that adjusts the glutamate activity for the proper functioning of the brain, or
- other medicines to regulate the sleep clock or to treat depression.
There are some therapies too to treat the symptoms of dementia. For example, patients can perform different tasks. These tasks are simple and help the person to focus better. The patient should maintain social interaction with others. Different massage and aromatherapies are also available.
Primary care physicians play an important role in the better care of this condition. They not only support the patients but also their families and caregivers to face the problem. The diagnosis of dementia is devastating and support is the biggest thing dementia patients need. Be a way to assure them of your presence and do your best to help them but maintain their dignity to save them from any stressful condition.