The PMHNP is preparing a community-based presentation for both the staff and residents of a local life-care facility
Answer: The PMHNP is preparing a community-based presentation for both the staff and residents of a local life-care facility
The elderly patient presents as an individual who is in characteristically good health, yet might complain of a few recent memory lapses. The patient states that he/she is able to do most things independently, but occasionally forgets the days of the week or times to move from one activity to another. His/her mind is considered to be intact and his/her mood, affect, and personality are all consistent with their history of who they have always been. This problem differs from dementia in that it is brief and self-limited, not progressive with time, and similar to other medical problems such as a urinary tract infection. Contrary to dementia, pseudodementia typically occurs in healthy older individuals who are sedentary. Tragically many of these individuals are immediately admitted to a nursing home without adequate assurance that this is truly the correct place for them.
Pseudodementia can occur as an organic condition that mimics the signs of dementia. It is usually reversible and not indicative of a degenerative brain disease. Pseudodementia results in decline in memory but not other mental abilities; this stands in contrast to dementia, which results in decline in all mental functions. The patient with pseudodementia tends to be anxious rather than apathetic and may exhibit symptoms similar to those found in depression or mania.
When you review the characteristics of both dementias, it is important to pay attention to the differences in symptom presentation. In dementia, the patient often has:
On the outside, patients with pseudodementia look like patients with dementia. They may have memory loss and/or problems with language or reasoning. On the inside, that’s where it gets complicated.
Pseudodementia is a condition that resembles dementia. While education and psychosocial interventions can be helpful, medications may be needed to treat symptoms of cognitive impairment, depression, agitation, and psychotic features.
Pseudodementia is a reversible condition commonly seen in the older adult population. It is characterized by the presence of cognitive deficit, loss of memory, and personality change that become severe enough to interfere with daily functioning and cause significant distress and caregiver burden.
The PMHNP is preparing a community-based presentation for both the staff and residents of a local life-care facility. The facility offers a continuum of care from independent apartment living to assisted living to nursing home care. In an effort to increase awareness of signs and symptoms of dementia as compared to pseudodementia, the management has contracted with the PMHNP to prepare these informative educational programs. When comparing and contrasting these two conditions, the PMHNP emphasizes that in pseudodementia the patient is usually: