Cognitive stimulation in ageing and dementia

 

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Dementia is the overall loss of cognitive function that interferes with a person’s daily activities, their social and family relationships and their job. The most frequent form of dementia in our environment is Alzheimer’s disease, followed by vascular dementia.

The aim of cognitive stimulation in ageing and dementia is to stimulate and maintain cognitive capacities, slowing down the progression of the impairment and improving functional performance by increasing personal autonomy in activities of daily living, and ultimately improving the quality of life of the patient, their family and/or caregivers. Cognitive stimulation exercises cognitive, emotional and relational skills, favouring neuroplasticity.

Cognitive stimulation workshops are a fundamental part of the treatment programme. In them, patients practise different techniques and implement various strategies specific to memory problems, without forgetting other cognitive functions that are often involved in neurodegenerative processes, such as attention, praxis and perception skills, calculation, orientation, language, as well as emotions and behaviour.

Treatment for ageing and dementia is not only aimed at stimulating and maintaining cognitive skills, but also includes psychosocial therapy for caregivers. The aim is to provide information about the disease, give support, limit anxiety and stress in order to improve the emotional state of the caregiver and their quality of life. These measures are often able to delay the institutionalisation of the patient.