Dementia and Compassion

From the Show: Wellness for Life
Summary: Since there is no cure for dementia yet, we must advocate for those living with cognitive decline.
Air Date: 4/12/19
Duration: 26:50
Host: Susanne Bennett, DC
Guest Bio: Tia Powell, MD
Tia PowellDr. Tia Powell, MD, directs the Center for Bioethics and Masters' in Bioethics at Montefiore Health Systems and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She holds the Shoshanah Trachtenberg Frackman chair in biomedical ethics and is Professor of Epidemiology and Psychiatry. Her bioethics expertise spans health policy, dementia, end-of-life care, and decision-making capacity. She served four years as Executive Director of the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law, the state bioethics commission. She has worked with the National Academies of Medicine on many projects, and served as an advisor to the CDC, and to Health and Human Services and its National Alzheimer's Project Act. She is a board-certified psychiatrist and Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, the American Psychiatric Association and The Hastings Center.
  • Book Title: Dementia Reimagined: Building a Life of Joy and Dignity from Beginning to End
  • Guest Facebook Account: www.facebook.com/TiaPowellMD
  • Guest Twitter Account: @tiapowell
Dementia and Compassion
Dementia is a general term for decline in memory and cognitive ability. It can interfere with daily life.

While memory loss is a telltale symptom of dementia, there are other warning signs. Communication issues, language problems, inability to focus and pay attention, difficulty with reason and judgment, and visual perception problems may be present.

A contributing factor may be our lifespans. We live longer than people did 100 years ago. This means we’re taking more prescriptions drugs to live without pain and address symptoms of aging. Not all medications play nicely together. Speak to a gerontologist to make sure there are no negative interactions.

At present, there is no cure for dementia. We have to work to be supportive of these folks. Consider what would give you comfort in the event of cognitive decline. Advocate for and assist elders to find that comfort.

Listen as Dr. Tia Powell joins Dr. Susanne Bennett to discuss dementia.