SENIOR DEMANDY - mental illnesses that begin predominantly in old age, caused by atrophy of the brain and manifested gradually increasing decay of mental activity to the degree of total dementia. The main disorder is progressive and irreversible memory impairment.
Senile dementia is the most characteristic disease for senile age (over 65), characterized by progressive total dementia based on an atrophic process in the brain. The disease develops slowly and hardly. The first changes may resemble personality shifts characteristic of natural aging, but differing in expression and exaggeration (egocentrism, callousness, stinginess, collecting unnecessary things, etc.). At the same time, elementary biological needs are being disinhibited (gluttony, sexual disinhibition appear); gloomy-irritable mood prevails. In the initial stage, a decrease in memory and intelligence increases, which eventually reach the level of deep dementia and the breakdown of all mental activity. Speech remains orderly for a relatively long time, but over time, it is grossly upset, turning into meaningless talkativeness. The “shift of the situation into the past” is characteristic: the memory of the last years of life is lost, and at the same time, memories of the distant past are revived (patients are immersed in the memories of youth and from this perspective evaluate everything that happens). Sleep disturbances are characteristic: a long daytime sleep is combined with night insomnia, which is accompanied by fussiness and aimless walking. At night, episodes of confused consciousness (“senile delirium”) often occur, when patients cannot find their room or their bed. At home, with insufficient supervision, they turn out to be helpless, sloppy, forget to turn off the gas, water, etc. In 10% of patients at relatively early stages of the disease, psychotic disorders - “senile psychoses” (delusions of damage, robbery, poisoning; less commonly, hallucinatory conditions) can be observed.
For all types of senile psychoses, systematic nursing by the middle and junior staff is extremely important. Patients must be provided with dietary nutrition, monitor the regularity of physiological administration, clean skin. Psychotropic drugs (sonapax, chlorprotixen, etaperazine) in small doses are prescribed for the appearance of psychotic or gross behavioral disorders, sleep disturbances.