What is the role of a psychologist for dementia?
Psychologists play an important role in the treatment of dementia which includes – assessing the presence of and severity of dementia, providing education and counselling to the patient and the family members regarding the illness, helping in managing challenging behaviours of the patient, and providing suggestions for improving daily life functionality and quality of life for the patient.
How can a psychologist help the family of a dementia patient?
A psychologist can help in the psychoeducation about dementia to family members of the patient, helping them with strategies to deal with the symptoms of dementia and provide support to the patient to make their lives easier, reducing caregiver’s distress and burnout, reducing dysfunctional thoughts as well as enhancing self-efficacy in their controlling of upsetting thoughts.
What psychological interventions are used by psychologists for dementia?
Psychological interventions include activities and strategies that are designed to improve the dementia patient’s cognitive abilities (by providing cognitive training and cognitive stimulation), reduce their behavioural symptoms (by means of music therapy, aromatherapy, etc.), and enhance their emotional well-being (by approaches such as reminiscencing and activity planning). Psychological interventions could also include the caregivers of the dementia patient and involves psychoeducating them about the illness and supporting them while caring for their loved one.
Is taking treatment from a psychologist for dementia necessary?
A psychiatrist can prescribe medications that can improve the cognitive and behavioural symptoms and enhance functionality temporarily of the dementia patient. However, a dementia patient can also be going through a lot of emotional distress due to their dementia as well as other personal life situations. They may have comorbid mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression. They may also need helpful strategies to cope with symptoms such as memory loss, language difficulties, etc. All of these are issues that a psychologist can help with, which is why taking sessions with a psychologist in addition to psychiatric medications can help tremendously in enhancing the dementia patient’s quality of life.