People with dementia who are prone to hiking are more likely to be missed in areas with dense, complex road networks. This is what researchers found in the UK in a review of hundreds of police reports of missing people.
Dementia, a decline in memory and thinking skills associated with age, is a challenging condition for patients and their caregivers. People with dementia can leave their place of residence if they are left unattended. This is called wandering, and patients don’t do it to play tricks on others.
Complex roads are a challenge
In a study at the University of East Anglia, researchers looked at where people with dementia can get lost. They analyzed 210 records of missing persons with dementia filed with police in Norfolk County, UK, between January 2014 and December 2017. The missing came from both urban and rural areas.
The researchers checked the layout of a nearby network of roads near the location where the person went missing. They wanted to know if the network was accessible as people with dementia often have navigation problems. The first thing they noticed was the dense and disorganized layout that could potentially lead to someone who has problems with navigation getting lost.
They found that higher density road networks often have more complex intersections. People with dementia may follow a road and expect it to lead to an area of the city they may be familiar with. However, intersections with so many curves increase the likelihood of making a mistake. Instead of getting out of the maze of streets safely, they may end up in a place they don’t recognize.
“We hope that by identifying these environmental risk factors, our results may help identify or predict areas where people with dementia are at greater risk of being missed – and help develop protective guidelines to prevent that they will be missed in the future. ” “PhD student Vaisakh Puthusseryppady said in a press release.
Dementia can occur for many reasons
It’s not just caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients who need to make sure the patient doesn’t churn. Dementia can be the result of trauma, other illnesses, and other conditions. In an article by the Alzheimer’s Association, dementia was defined as a generic term to describe a decline in memory and thinking skills. A person with dementia may or may not have Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is a specific progressive brain disorder that causes deterioration in memory and thinking, which can lead to symptoms of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60% to 80% of dementia cases.
The Mayo Clinic wrote about other causes of dementia, the most common of which are nerve cell damage or loss. Some forms of dementia are reversible, such as those caused by autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune drugs can prevent immune cells from attacking nerve cells and treat dementia-like symptoms.
On the other hand, some progressive forms of dementia are irreversible. For example, vascular dementia, the second most common type, occurs when the blood vessels in the brain are damaged. The damage can lead to a stroke or other conditions that can trigger the dementia. People with this condition may have difficulty with problem-solving and organizational skills.
Huntington’s disease, a genetic neurological disorder that is linked to the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain, can affect parts of the brain that are linked to cognitive skills, leading to signs of dementia. Traumatic brain injuries, which are typical for contact athletes and soldiers, can lead to symptoms of dementia. The repeated blows to the head increase the risk of memory and thinking problems.
Caregivers for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are prone to stress. You are likely to be unpaid and prone to unexpected changes in the behavior of your loved ones.
Support can be provided in different ways:
- Connect to community resources such as B. Home support and food delivery services. These can be helpful for some daily tasks.
- Use techniques to relax your mind. Breathing exercises and a 15-minute meditation can work on a tight schedule.
- Be physically active to reduce stress and improve overall health. A 10-minute exercise, whether in the garden or while dancing, can help reduce stress.
When caring for someone with dementia, seek support from your community.