Psychopathology Elements of Elderly Population
The frequency of mental illnesses increases proportionally with aging. Mental illnesses in the elderly are ranked second place after cardiovascular diseases, reaching up to 16% of the population over 70 years. In elderly, mental illnesses can be classified into two categories: 1) diseases that have a debut before aging, but not characteristic for old age; and 2) diseases that begin in old age with some specific issues - this category include regressive psychosis and late dementia. Dementia is a disease caused by the degeneration of the neuronal cell. Senile dementia occurs after age of 85-90 years. The long-term memory is frequently functional and the short-term memory is affected. Among the signs of dementia are mentioned: slow thinking and cognitive disturbances, irritability and nervousness, balance and coordination disorders, swallowing disorders, refusal to eat. Treatment is either medical (vitamines) or kinetic: reeducation of walking, recovery of balance and coordination, therapeutic walking, ergotherapy (Brouillet, 1997).
|Keywords:||older age, mental illnesses, senile dementia, acute confusional states, sleep disorders|