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VSThis is the story of Paulette*, who smokes cigarette after cigarette, as a result of she by no means remembers the earlier one. Peter's*, who turns into aggressive due to a headache that he can’t verbalize. It's additionally Louise's*, terrified day by day going through this “stranger” – a caregiver – who helps her wash. Her vulnerability would nearly make her violent. All these tales come from the survey carried out by the Fondation Partage et Vie inside its nursing houses. The goal: to know reminiscence problems and the conditions confronted by caregivers.

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As disturbing as they’re, these tales concern us all. They typically hurt us, as a result of they discuss with this horrible scenario of final vulnerability that’s previous age with out recollections or reference factors. The one the place your personal dad and mom maybe not acknowledge you, erasing with them whole sections of their id, their lives and yours. How can we handle these conditions and finest assist folks affected by reminiscence problems? The Partage et Vie Foundation has chosen to deal with this significant topic for the 5e version of its Estivales, June 19 in Paris, in partnership with Point. The goal: to know, present options and alter the best way we have a look at these problems.

READ ALSO Alzheimer's: how you can react to the reminiscence lack of a liked one? The first thing to know is that we have a dozen different memory systems, explains Lionel Naccache, neurologist, specialist in cognitive sciences and speaker at the event. This nuance is important, especially from a practical point of view, for patients. By identifying the preserved building blocks of their memory systems, we can develop rehabilitation methods allowing them to compensate, at least in part, for their difficulties in relying on their non-deficient memory systems. »

“Memory disorders are diseases of information management, continues Claude Jeandel, professor of internal medicine and geriatrics, medical advisor to Partage et Vie and speaker. The person with a cognitive disorder is no longer able to encode information, fix it and, consequently, restore it. » Memory, written and oral language, orientation, judgment… all cognitive functions can thus be affected, sometimes with associated psychological and/or behavioral disorders.

Traumas from the past

As summarized by Colette Roumanoff, author of numerous works on the subject, including the blog Living well with Alzheimer, and also present at the Estivales, “It is ultimately not so much a loss of memory as a loss of reference points, both external and internal. Inside, the brain no longer provides information about what is happening in the body, while the environment becomes more and more complicated and illegible. »

Among the stories collected by the foundation during its investigation, almost all the situations encountered seem to find an explanation from the person's past. This is the case of this resident who regularly stole food and who we learned had grown up in poverty, or of this resident who barricaded himself in his room at night, traumatized by a violent burglary experienced years previously. However, in certain cases, particularly when the person has few close friends, the meaning is more difficult to find.

READ ALSO Roger-Pol Droit: “Growing old does not mean starting to die”“Do we have to include a memory to accompany it? Should we force secret gardens, including traumatic or shameful ones, in the name of support? Are all behaviors regulated? asks Jean-Yves Dayt, director of the Les Dames Blanches retirement homes, in Yvetot, and L'Archipel, in Duclair, in Seine-Maritime. Every situation is unique. There is no clear answer, no instructions. It’s really on a case by case basis…”

Residents: precedence to well-being

So, how do you adapt to every nursing house resident when you find yourself a caregiver and you’ve got round twenty to look at over? How can we all know every particular person’s story? The topic is all of the extra vital as 75% of those folks undergo from reminiscence issues. “Even if there are more staff in the units dedicated to patients with these disorders, there are not enough of us,” regrets Zoé Bocquet, civic service on the Jacques-Bonvoisin nursing house in Dieppe.“We are not specialized in memory disorders, so we discuss a lot among ourselves, we exchange what we learn from our residents, we look for solutions together, she continues. These are people who matter to us, and their well-being comes first. »

Defining a person's needs is difficult, and almost impossible when they no longer have the ability to speak. “Some people, for example, never get used to the idea of ​​being washed by someone they don’t know,” testifies Zoé Bocquet. The caregiver is pondering particularly of a resident for whom this second was so painful that she grew to become violent. Washing your self regardless of your refusal or leaving the particular person of their grime, neither of those choices is suitable. “We try to provide care as kindly as possible, remaining calm, even if it is not pleasant, because there is no question of letting a person not be washed while they are wearing diapers. »

Old age, necessarily a shipwreck?

Faced with these difficult situations, Zoé Bocquet regrets the lack of training. “We followed one who taught us methods to calm people down. But training in psychology on what can trigger defense reactions or on dementia, for example, would allow us to understand better. »

Are memory disorders necessarily a shipwreck, to use Charles de Gaulle's words? Memories and landmarks may disappear, but emotions remain very present, while life comes together in the present. “The meaning of life is the pleasure we have in living!” » insists Colette Roumanoff. Create an ecosystem through which the particular person will really feel good, allow them to do what they do, contact them, transfer them, and even capitalize on calm and good humor to keep up a relationship of belief and soothe anxieties. So many options “simple, obvious, but it works”.

READ ALSO Alzheimer's illness: it may begin earlier than delivery“Thanks to the most recent discoveries in neuroscience, we’ve got the agency perception that every being is able to growing till the top of their life, says Jean-Yves Dayt. In this sense, nursing houses can develop into areas for particular person and collective reflection on growing old higher, regardless of reminiscence loss. Places for assist and research of life in previous age. » It can also be a manner of justifying extra funding and enhancing the work of those institutions and caregivers.

In the meantime, allow us to not look away and stay from the perspective of our future previous age, as does David Foenkinos, the writer of Memoriesadditionally current on the occasion. “We come away with this power and this responsibility to stay every second with as a lot depth as potential. »

*The first names have been modified.

The 2024 Estivales conferences

The fifth version of Estivales, in partnership with Point, happen June 19 from 4:30 p.m. to eight p.m. on the Maison de la Chimie (Paris 7 e). Nearly 4 hours of dialogue across the theme “Memory and previous age: how you can higher assist? » with philosophers, medical doctors, writers in addition to professionals from medico-social institutions. We invite you to participate within the debate by responding to our flash survey on this yr's theme. Registration on: