Dementia - Advice for the Caregiver in an Aging Population

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Transcript:

Guest:  Dr. Anne Margriet Pot – Psychologist
Host:  Dr. Sally Smith

Dr. Sally Smith:
Welcome to Age to Age. I am Sally Smith. Let’s talk. Today we are lucky enough to have Dr. Anne Margriet Pot with us. She is clinical psychologist and Head of the Program on Aging as well as a member of the management team of The Netherlands Institute on Mental Health and Addiction. Thank you so much for coming and welcome to the United States.

Dr. Anne Margriet Pot:
Well, this is a pleasure to be here.

Dr. Sally Smith:
We are very excited that you are here and taking time to talk with us today because your interest is in the psychological care for frail older people and their caregivers and as a huge problem that we all face all across Europe and America with exploding aging population, it is such a key subject and I know that people will want very much to hear what you feel like are the key issues involved with it. What are in your opinion briefly the psychological issues in care of the elderly?

Dr. Anne Margriet Pot:
You mean for the caregivers or for the…

Dr. Sally Smith:
Well, do you do both?

Dr. Anne Margriet Pot:
…for the patient and the caregiver?

Dr. Sally Smith:
Yeah.

Dr. Anne Margriet Pot:
Well first patients -- I for instance, if you look at your residence and nursing homes, then you see that there is a lot of -- they have many problems, psychological and behavioral problems and for instance, I did a study on depression and anxiety in people who live in nursing homes in Netherlands and what we found was a high percentage of people who had depressive complaints for 44% of older people that were still able to answer a questionnaire.

Dr. Sally Smith:
Yes.

Dr. Anne Margriet Pot:
So, that they are not the most, the people with the most serious stages of dementia of course, but anyway that’s very alarming because most of these serious depressions are not dealt with in a very effective way, so if they are recognized, they are not always providing some help in a sense of pharmaceutical interventions or psychosocial interventions.

Dr. Sally Smith:
In dealing with the depression, 44% is quite a lot, it is very sad statistic really, is it mainly through medication that you would try to address that or are there external ways that it can be affected? I am sure the patient is very complicated in that they have depression, but they clearly wouldn’t be there if they didn’t have other issues too….

Dr. Anne Margriet Pot:
Yeah, that’s true.

Dr. Sally Smith:
….can you mainly do it with prescription?

Dr. Anne Margriet Pot:
Yeah, so, that’s also a reason why it is very important to address those mental health problems and to treat them because; otherwise, all sort of physical health problems may became worse, so -– and people are then going in a -- how do you call that?

Dr. Sally Smith:
Starling down.

Dr. Anne Margriet Pot:
Yes, that’s what I mean.

Dr. Sally Smith:
I can tell by your body language what do you mean. Anne Margriet, speaking of the depression and the effect it has on the patient, is this also a major factor with the caregiver?

Dr. Anne Margriet Pot:
Well, we didn’t look at the caregiver in this study, so -- but what we k


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