College of DuPage Nursing Student Andrea Armenta wrote for Healthy Lombard that the elderly population is growing rapidly every day. This includes our grandparents, our parents, and our loved ones. Our grandparents spent their lives creating memories that they will cherish all their lives till they pass away. Growing old is a normal part of life, however, a handful of the elderly population is at risk for developing dementia. According to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2021), the worldwide prevalence of dementia is approximately 50 million individuals, with an estimated 10 million new cases each year. With the steady increase in those with dementia, it is important to consider how to protect loved ones and oneself from developing it.
Dementia is the deterioration in the cognitive function of the human brain. There are a variety of different causes of dementia contributing to its development. Although it may seem to be a normal part of aging, dementia impacts judgment, communication, orientation, social and emotional behaviors, and language according to the Alzheimer’s society. Dementia has also become a leading cause of disability and dependency among older people worldwide (WHO, 2021).
Although dementia has a massive impact on the elderly, there is no cure for the cognitive damage, however, ongoing research is currently underway to attempt to delay the onset of dementia. Leisure activities that may delay the onset of dementia or help to improve cognitive function in dementia patients include reading, playing musical instruments, and solving jigsaw puzzles.
According to Erwanto & Kurniasih (2020), cognitive function improved from puzzle therapy, which involved elderly individuals with dementia playing with puzzles that had old photos. This was a significant finding because although memory is distorted in dementia, these individuals are more likely to reminiscence to older photos and old memories. Overall, while the incidence of dementia has increased, studies offer encouraging findings for elderly individuals who participate in leisure activities such as puzzle therapy. It may be a good idea to sit down and enjoy a nice puzzle the next time a visit with an elderly individual occurs, whether they have dementia.
Erwanto, R., & Kurniasih, D. E. (2020, April 01). Bali medical journal published BY DiscoverSys Inc. Retrieved April 04, 2021, from https://www.balimedicaljournal.org/index.php/bmj/article/view/1628
Dementia and language. (2021, March 31). Retrieved April 19, 2021, from https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/symptoms-and-diagnosis/symptoms/dementia-and-language#:~:text=A%20person%20with%20type,the%20brain%20that%20control%20language
Dementia. (n.d.). Retrieved April 05, 2021, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact sheets/detail/dementia#:~:text=Worldwide%2C%20around%2050%20million%20peopl 60%E2%80%9370%25%20of%20cases.