During Neurological tests, it is observed that people with dementia are
inventing answers. Of course. An unconscious process takes place as from
the first losses occur : the person masks her lacks. As this has become
automatic, as well, and unconscious, this will lead that, even during
a test, the person will proceed in the same way.
The masking of all those little missteps of the brain allows to dupe
the entourage for a while. However, by relying on attitudes that will
mask her oversights and missteps, the affected person now prevents herself
from this point forward from reacting to it constructively. Yet, this
attitude will become an automatism itself, and will finally dupe the person
affected herself. When the illness will really be establishing, she will
get lost in the maze of of her own lies. This will unfortunately help
the entourage to discredit her, whereas she doesn't necessarily have lost
all her mental abilities. This is then a vicious circle that takes place
between the sick person and her entourage.
The masking has also as effect that people with dementia don't complain
or very few. When something goes wrong, they are used to do as if nothing
had happened. And so, sometimes, even when they remember an abuse, they
prefer to keep a low profile and stay quiet. And this also works in mirror
: the relatives, nursing staff, caregivers, also have habits of behavior
with the person affected, that, in the long term settle in the form of
automatisms, because, whatever their behavior, there will be no negative
reaction in order to stop them. It is not uncommon to see a spouse or
a nursing staff being aggressive with a person with dementia, without
even realizing it, just out of habit, as they haven't found any other
way to handle certain situations and that they are not conscious that,
even though the person they are dealing with has no longer the same cognitive
abilities, she remains humanly complete and suffer from this aggressiveness
just as much as any other person, and sometimes even much more, for, she
doesn't understand the reason for this, and she is powerless in order
to respond to it correctly. And those abuses, although automatic, are
subtle enough to not be used in the presence of other persons. These are
Unfortunately, supervision cannot be constant in retirement homes, and
especially in secure floors, and those abuses are common, everywhere.
Quality continuing education would reduce this trend. Yet, work conditions
being far from optimal in most retirement homes (now become most of the
time real commercial enterprises) indirectly stimulate those abuses.
When doing such work by necessity and not by vocation (vocations not being
usual), when the job is not well paid, when there are lack in training,
when there is stress, staggered working hours, physical and psychological
tiredness inherent to the tasks, and often too a deficient staff management;
it becomes logical that working with motivation and humanity and showing
empathy are bonuses that happen not that often. The spectacle of secure
floors in retirement homes being hard to face for visitors; they are more
rare than in other services, allowing misconducts and abuses less visible,
which ones will never be denounced by those who endure them.
D) Acting to prevent
Acting to prevent and face the memory diseases has therefore to be done
when the will and the ability to put it into action are still possible,
and the sooner the better. Then it's from childhood that we have to consider
the building of our mental. Once the first symptoms are well established,
it becomes useless to still force a person to recover and to ask her to
make painful efforts for vain gains. At a certain stage of the disease,
it seems that the persons are reluctant when they are asked to train their
memory. They probably have the lucidity of the scale of the task, at a
loss, and for which the effort has become a real suffering. It is therefore
from a very early age that learning to manage memory and thoughts must
1) Acting on thoughts
Education as it exists in Europe and probably everywhere else, doesn't
offer anything in this sense. The child, from his birth never receives
training in order to teach him to "think" or to manage thoughts
that cross his mental.
To reason is not to think. Mathematics, philosophy, argumentation, are
teachings that deal with the way of reasoning. Reasoning is only a portion
of thinking. Just as language and communication are only a partial reflection
of our thoughts. However, if language courses (mother tongue or other)
are taught at school, we are not even at the stage of providing simple
Henceforth, apart during meditation or relaxation's moments, from the
moment of waking up til falling asleep, all of us, think as we breathe,
without being truly master of our thoughts. Every meditator knows that.
And the growing success of meditation tends to show that it is likely
that humanity has reached a level of evolution where every human will
begin to learn to manage his thoughts. This could change the face of the
World. The process will be huge, and much more important than the appearance
of language or writing. But this may well happen within one or two generation(s).
The emergency situation of destroying our own living environment is going
to force us to do it.
And as already mentioned, digitalization, or the use of artificial intelligence,
will prove very quickly problematic for those who tend too much to delegate
their own abilities outside of themselves. In a certain way, some developments
in those areas appear already outdated, not from a technological point
of view, but from a human point of view.
In this context, we could utterly consider that dementia is a civilization
disease too, as well as cancer, diabetics, obesity. If this would turn
out to be true, it could potentially disappear, not thanks to medication
that stopped the symptoms or progress of the process (which doesn't mean
that they would be useless), but much more because the process of losing
the control of the will on the thought could then be avoided.
2) Acting on memory
On the other hand, if we don't learn to manage our thoughts, we don't
learn to use our memory either, except in the relatively limited context
of school learning, which all too often consists in repeating information
as a parrot, but without any real working method.
It looks like the "every man for himself", or even total anarchy,
in this field. School gives us a partial framework, dividing lessons,
creating chapters, but, once launched in active life, we will memorize
on a much less organized way, rather depending on our experiences. But
most people don't choose their experiences. For the most part, they are
a bit forced to take what comes. A higher sociocultural level may help
but not necessarily. Thus, they store learning anarchically, and memorize
it without much organizing.
3) Need to act before the onset of symptoms
If it is possible to detect some forms of dementia quite early, it is
because the decline process of memory starts very early. If it is estimated
that at the age 35, we have only 5% of our thoughts left that we can consciously
choose, it means that at this age are already largely defined the paths
and the rapidity with which this percentage will still further decrease.
Still today, research for medication treatments in order to stop or restrain
those illnesses remains in full swing. I think this search can take a
while. Memory diseases are, for most of them, the consequences of mental
processes that take place over decades. No medication will ever stop them,
once the symptoms have become obvious. We can at most boost some mental
abilities in order to slow down the process. It is not a question of curing
dementia, nor of curing of old age. It's a question of preventing it and
its development, or to slowing it down once it's fully declared.
It is by learning to manage our mental, and this, from our birth, that
we are preparing to keep all our abilities much longer. This represents
a considerable amount of work in order to find out how to achieve it optimally
if we accept the idea that quasi-random education by parents, quasi-random
experiences of life, and schooling such as we know today : are in no way
the most appropriate ways to get there. And conversely, if we succeed
in developing methods to learn how to manage them very early, the efficiency
of all those educational aspects will be multiplied exponentially.