Dementia is often caused by serious diseases and injuries and is typically incurable, but does that mean one must stop working immediately? Not necessarily. Here, you will read about why those who are experiencing dementia, especially early on, don’t need to quit their jobs right away and can still be productive.
Dementia Is Progressive
Dementia isn’t a disease in itself; instead, it’s a cluster of symptoms caused by larger underlying issues, such as Alzheimer’s disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and stroke.
Dementia is described as a loss of functioning in different areas, like memory, speech, and problem-solving, which is caused by the death of brain cells; however, it is a very gradual process.
Therefore, people diagnosed with some condition causing dementia will still hold onto their ability to perform basic functions for a while. Suppose it’s caught early and not in an advanced stage. In that case, people are usually able to transport themselves to and from work, handle their job responsibilities, and socially interact with others.
Symptoms Can Be Managed
The conditions that cause dementia are usually ones that are unable to be cured, but people can still find relief and slow down the progression of the loss of cognitive functioning.
Certain medications may be able to slow the decline in some individuals, and some activities and strategies can also aid in this regard and improve things such as memory, organization, planning, and mood.
Making certain lifestyle changes like avoiding alcohol consumption and incorporating a healthy diet and exercise can also provide noticeable benefits for people with dementia.
People Can Still Be Independent
While it’s true that many individuals who struggle with dementia may require assistance, they usually aren’t helpless and can benefit simply by making accommodations for them.
At work, this can mean having their desk organized to make it easy to find the object that they need to carry out their duties, or they might even have their responsibilities simplified so they can still be productive and efficient.
A caregiver is usually given when an individual loses their ability to function independently, and those who have been recently diagnosed might not be at that stage yet, and can still perform well at their jobs, and therefore, shouldn’t quit just yet.
It May Be Protected By Law
Laws will vary from country to country, but many, including in the European Union, enforce the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to help those with various ailments feel independent and included with the rest of society.
Not only does this mean that people with a disability, such as dementia, must have reasonable accommodations like the ones in the previous section, but they also cannot have their employment terminated because of it.
Therefore, people with disabilities can remain employed if they wish and cannot legally be discriminated against in the workplace.
Learn More About Dementia
Dementia is a topic that is still researched extensively by scientists all over the world so that one day better treatments, or maybe a cure, can be discovered.
Until that time comes, people can mainly benefit from the information that is currently available and learn ways that they can help support their loved ones or how to cope with it themselves.
If you are interested in reading more about dementia, including its various causes, how you can potentially reduce the rate of its progression, and provide emotional support, BetterHelp has many informative articles about this issue for you, which you can find by clicking the link below.
You will also find out how you can get started with online counseling and therapy if you are looking for ways to cope with dementia and the thought of retiring in the future. Whether it’s a loved one or yourself, learning about a diagnosis is not something that is easily digested, but here, you can connect to someone who can teach you ways of navigating this life-changing issue.
Dementia doesn’t spell the immediate end of a career, and hopefully, this article has shown you why that is the case. People can still find fulfillment at work, and in their ordinary lives, and with some accommodation and support from others, it becomes easier to do this. Still, coming to terms with dementia will be challenging and be emotionally-heavy – if you are struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance from a professional who can guide you through this difficult time.
About the Author
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.