19th January 2023
A Supplementary Blog Post
Following on from our webinar 'Living with Dementia - How Therapeutic Seating Can Help Reduce Agitation', we have written a supplementary blog post to complement it.
The World Health Organization (WHO) define Dementia as a syndrome in which there is deterioration in cognitive function beyond what might be expected from the usual consequences of biological ageing. The WHO say that Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia and may contribute to 60-70% of cases. They highlight that currently, more than 55 million people live with dementia worldwide, and there are nearly 10 million new cases every year.1
What are the symptoms of dementia?
Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) say that the specific symptoms a person living with dementia experiences will depend upon what parts of the brain are affected and/or the specific disease that is causing their dementia. Symptoms may include:
Although each person will experience dementia in their own way, eventually those affected will be unable to care for themselves and need help with all aspects of daily life.
ADI highlight that whilst there is currently no cure for most types of dementia, treatment and support are available.2
A seating assessment involves testing the range of motion at the person’s joints, identifying fixed and flexible components and assessing presentation from a postural perspective in the current bed or chair. An understanding of any cognitive, behavioural and psychological symptoms and the impact that people with dementia have in daily life will also benefit the seating assessment.
The goals of seating can be divided into three main areas:
Seating goals should be identified during a seating assessment. The needs of the seated person will be identified to help inform the type of chair they may require to meet their needs both now and in the future.
Occupational therapists at a University Hospital in Ireland observed the following outcomes amongst people with non-cognitive symptoms of dementia (NCSD) and people with reduced proprioception when seated in the Atlanta Chair.
We have seen that the Sorrento and Atlanta chairs, in particular, can achieve positive outcomes for those living with dementia. Other Seating Matters chairs may also benefit people with dementia.
The Atlanta™ chair was designed for those with involuntary movements such as those experienced by people with Huntington’s. This has also benefited people with NCSD and with reduced proprioception. It features integrated tilt and back angle recline that seats the person in a deep position in the chair, providing stabilised & informed positioning, which provides comfort, enables function, and reduces this risk of sliding and falling.
The Sorrento™ chair was designed for higher dependent patients. It features 45° tilt in space, which can stop falling and sliding, help to minimise risk of pressure injuries and has removable, adjustable arms and lateral supports to promote postural support. A case study, describing the outcomes of the use of a Sorrento is described here.
* Note: The purpose of this blog is to give an overview of how seating matters products can help to improve the lives of people with dementia. This is not intended to be a substitute for professional or medical advice, diagnosis, prescription or treatment and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. For diagnosis or treatment of any medical problem, consult your own doctor or physician.
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