Community Gatekeepers Training: An Initiative for Dementia Care
thesisposted on 2019-05-14, 00:00 authored by Kasandra J. Kister
Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning and behavioral abilities severe enough to interfere with everyday life. Dementia ranges from mild to acute stages. Symptoms result when healthy brain cells stop working, lose connection with other neurons, and die. Dementia can be caused by many different diseases. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, but other forms can result from thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies (National Institute on Aging, 2017). Although dementia commonly occurs in older adults, it is not an inherent part of the aging process. The purpose of this project is to develop a program to educate community members to recognize signs of dementia. Approximately one-third of people with dementia live alone (Mirando-Costillo, 2010). These individuals may not realize they need assistance or may have difficulty getting help. Oftentimes they are at a greater risk for social isolation and loneliness, in addition to safety hazards such as wandering (Alzheimer’s Society, 2014). This program teaches community members to be mindful of individuals with cognitive deficits and provide resources to those affected by dementia.