How does the brain work with someone with dementia and Alzheimer's?
Four different levels in the brain
Roughly the brain consists of four levels that lie above each other.
Level one and two, the lower brain
The bottom two layers comprise the lower brain, also known as the emotional brain. The first level contains sensory perception with simple stimuli such as touch or reflexes. The second level registers basic emotions, where multiple stimuli come together to coordinate action. This part also organizes the incoming stimuli to get a picture of a situation.
Levels three and four, the upper brain
The upper brain consists of two levels, also known as the thinking brain. The more difficult tasks are performed by this brain. The emotional consciousness is the third level. Here, the brain registers emotions and it is "decided" what happens to those emotions: express them, ignore them or something else. The emotional brain acts impulsively and thoughtlessly. Full consciousness is the fourth and highest level of the brain. This is where the various brain functions come together. You become aware of yourself and your environment, you know how to make choices and take responsibility.
Dementia affects the entire brain
The lower brain, the emotional brain, contains clear areas in our brain. The upper brain, the thinking brain, creates connections within the entire brain. With people with dementia, the upper brain is affected: the higher levels three and four, which has a negative effect on the entire brain.
What is the influence of dementia on the brain?
With someone with dementia, the brain no longer works properly. Too many stimuli can come in or too few. Dementia also often leads to fear and aggression.
Too many incentives
In addition to Alzheimer's, more than 85 forms of dementia. In the final stage, the weight of the brain can drop from 1500 grams to just 300 grams. This mainly leads to the loss of the place in the brain where impulsive behavior occurs. This behavior is caused by certain internal and external stimuli. Today we get more external stimuli in one day than people from the Middle Ages got in their whole lives. People with a healthy functioning brain can shut themselves off from an overdose of stimuli, people with dementia cannot. This creates unrest and can lead to unwanted and aggressive behavior.
Too few incentives
People with dementia need an environment with dynamic stimuli. An excess of stimuli creates unrest, but a shortage of stimuli has the same effect. When there is a shortage of stimuli, such as movement and sound, people with dementia look for stimuli. These are the well-known "wanderers" in healthcare institutions: people who walk endlessly through the corridors. Silence is also something that people with dementia have trouble with. They prefer not to be in their rooms during the day because there are too few stimuli. It is also possible that people wander at night because the brain receives not enough stimuli to sleep.
Anxiety and aggression in dementia
Our brain contains many functions. With people with dementia, the thinking capacity disappears faster, so that demented people become anxious more quickly, because they approach it from the feeling of fear in the emotional brain. An example: if something that seemed scary turns out not to be scary afterwards, it is not stored in memory in people with dementia. This can make them afraid of things that happen every day. Fear leads to roughly two options: fight or flight. From fear, aggressive behavior can arise that is expressed verbally or physically.
How can you help someone with dementia?
Create an environment where there are enough incentives, not too few and not too many. Do not approach people with dementia in an anxious way. With the KozieMe music pillow, Kozie offers the possibility to independently generate sufficient stimuli to people with dementia. Through touch, they will hear recognizable sounds from the KozieMe, which reduces the chance of fear. The feeling of home. Stimulate a safe and peaceful environment with KozieMe.
Kozie is a music pillow that stimulates peace and safety in people with dementia and Alzheimer's. A sense of home. Kozie is a recognizable beacon of happiness. When touched, the pillow emits personal sounds that can be listened to independently.