The DEMAISON non-profit organization is geared towards the families of those patients who are affected by the Alzheimer disease or by other forms of dementia and it focuses specifically on caregivers. Due to the changing nature of this particular disease, it is usually quite complicated for caregivers to be able to provide patients with constant assistance; many family members have daily jobs, they have other people to take care of or they can have other emergency situations that don't allow them to provide the necessary care to their beloved ones 24/7. The DEMAISON non-profit organization aims at providing caregivers with concrete assistance solutions that can make their job easier, optimize their economical and psychological resources and even improve the patients' quality of life.
What is dementia?
Dementia is a condition that chronically and progressively impair a person's cerebral functions.
memory, attention levels, the ability to speak, read and write, the perception of time/space, spatial/visual skills, praxia (the inability to organize one's daily life), agnosia (the inability to process sensory information), abstract thinking, the inability to plan things.
aboulia, apathy, depression, psychomotorial restlessness, aggressiveness, psychosis (delirium), changes to sleep patterns, mood swings, dishinibition, aimless wandering, getting busy at night.
Dementia affects between:
1% and 5% of the entire over-65-population and 30% of those over 80; that is to say that there are about 1,240.000 people affected by degenerative conditions in Italy and about 47 millions of people in the entire world.
1) between 50% and 60% of these people are affected by the Alzheimer disease
2) between 15% and 20% of these people are affected by dementia with Lewy bodies
3) between 2% and 5% of these people are affected by the so-called frontotemporal dementia (Pick's disease)
4) between 2% and 3% of these people are affected by the so-called Parkinson's dementia
vascular dementia - between 15-20% - (multi-infarct encephalopaty, postictal dementia)
secondary types of dementia:
5% - toxicity-related conditions (due to alcohol/drugs/pesticides/heavy metals abuse); metabolism-related conditions (due to diabetes, uremia, portal-systemic encephalopathy); infection-related conditions (meningitis, encephalitis, Creutzfeld-Jacob disease, AIDS); deficiencies (B12 vitamin, thiamine); intracranial expansion processes (tumors, haematomas, abscesses); normal pressure hydrocephalus.
What is the DEMAISON organization's solution to this issue?
The DEMAISON non-profit organization promotes the concept of cohousing
, also called “assisted co-housing” in small residential households. If caregivers are interested in this solution, they can get in touch with the organization and get the contact details of other families who have already opted for this method. Through this network of families, people can take part in help and assist meetings and even create their own co-housing household where patients sharing the same interests/age/pathology can live together as if they were a family. The DEMAISON organization aims at following the initial stages of co-housing projects by providing family members and caretakers who will live in the household with the patients with training and support initiatives. Families who are interested in finding households that can be transformed into co-housing residential units or families who are looking into improving the existing set-up of a residential unit so as to make it more suitable for the patients, can also benefit from the organization's recommendations.