Lifespan Growth and Development

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LIFESPAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT 7

LifespanGrowth and Development

LifespanGrowth and Development

Alzheimer’sDisease

EnvironmentalDesign for a 65-year-old Alzheimer’s

Dementiarefers to a general word that indicates changes to a person’scognitive function caused by specific, irreversible, and progressivebrain disorders. Alzheimer’s disease is a typical example of theseillnesses. Key symptoms associated with these diseases includespatial perception, reduced stress thresholds, short-term memory, andpoor planning abilities (Burton, 2013). To improve the situation ofthe person with Alzheimer’s and ensure future developments, I woulddesign an environment that specifically meets the needs of thepatient in a manner that allows the individual to use her retainedcapacities with minimum frustration as well as experiencehigh-quality life.

Facilitiessupporting people with the Alzheimer’s disease are achievable andpractical. The design would be in a manner that compensates thedisability, maximize independence, enhance self-esteem, and reinforceher personal identity. The accommodation will also be designed in away that demonstrates care for the personnel/staff, welcomesrelatives, and is understandable and orienting. The environment mustbe able to balance and control stimuli (Burton, 2013).

Thedesign features that will need to be integrated into the facilityhave to offer quality accommodation for the patient. These includesmall size, familiar style of building, for example, home ordomestic-like, and enough scope for normal activities such as washinglines, garden sheds, and kitchen units. Other design features willencompass inclusion of inconspicuous safety features, a secureoutside space, single rooms large enough to keep personal belongings,and multiple cues and good signage such as smell, sound, and sight.Lastly, rooms will be equipped with fittings and furniture that arefamiliar to the patient. Objects will be used for orientation insteadof color and visual access enhancement, and stimuli control,especially noise (Burton, 2013).

EnvironmentalFactors that Would Hinder an Alzheimer’s Development

Environmentalfactors, which would hinder the development of a person with theAlzheimer’s disease, include moving to a novel nursing home orresidence, environmental changes such as hospitalization, travel, thepresence of guests, and caregiver arrangement changes. Others includemisperceived threats and fatigue, and fear from trying to understanda complex environment. These environmental factors are likely tocause agitation and anxiety, irritability, depression, restlessness,delusions, hallucinations, verbal or physical outbursts, and sleepdisturbances, which may hinder the development of the individual(Román, 2008).

HowAlzheimer’s affect the Physical, Cognitive, and PsychosocialDevelopment

PhysicalDomain

Accordingto Kales, Gitlin and Lyketsos, (2015), Alzheimer’s affect thephysical body of an individual in different ways. Physical effectsstart to appear during the illness’ middle stages and are morenoticeable towards the end phases of the disease. Alzheimer’sdisease is an untreatable, progressive illness. One of the physicaleffects is movement and immobility. Patients with the illness becomeimmobile and are unable to coordinate themselves. They havenoticeable tremors, and their muscles are usually rigid. Patientsmust be reminded to use such mobility devices as walkers or canes toavoid falling. In the late stages of the illness, mobility is morerestricted. Muscles are contracted, and the person relies completelyon caregivers.

Kales,Gitlin and Lyketsos assert that Alzheimer’s results inincontinence, an impairment of bowel functions, because of inabilityto find bathroom or help (2015). Apraxia, which is the failure to dopre-programmed motor skills, for example, eating, is another physicaleffect of Alzheimer’s as the brain is unable to coordinate simplefunctions like speaking, eating, or chewing. As a result, the patientmay suffer from aspiration pneumonia.

CognitiveDomain

Cognitiveabilities denote the thinking activities such as reasoning,problem-solving, exercising judgment, and decision-making. Cognitivefunction impairments start as subtly as poor performances inactivities that the individual excelled well. For example, lack ofinsight and poor judgment can lead to accidents. During the firststages of Alzheimer’s disease, the person may lose track of timeand become disorientated (Kales,Gitlin &amp Lyketsos, 2015).

PsychosocialDomain

Psychosocialeffects of the Alzheimer’s disease include being excluded fromconversations regarding long-term planning including other crucialdecisions. There is also the loss of independence and specific roles,which were once the individual’s responsibility, for example, lossof employment and not being allowed to drive. The person withAlzheimer’s may fear burdening others, for example, throughcaregiving and other responsibilities. Lastly, a person withAlzheimer’s is forced to rely on friends, spouse, and otherrelatives for survival. Therefore, this type of living can generatefeelings and issues, which will interfere with development of theperson (Kales, Gitlin &amp Lyketsos, 2015).

Autism

Designingan Environmental for an Autistic Child

Autismis an illness that is characterized by impairments in communication,social reciprocity, repetitive behaviors, and restricted interests.Autism is also known as a spectrum of illnesses due to the differentsymptoms as well as the severity it presents across individuals.Autism patients experience difficulties processing and incorporatingsensory information. An autistic child may respond differently toinformation in an environment. For example, some kids may reactexcessively to traffic noise, sunlight, an airplane overhead, whereasothers may not notice this form of input (Bailey, 2014).

Autisticchildren have sensory needs, which the layman individual may findthem odd, especially those unaware of the illness. The design of theenvironment for an autistic child will be sensory-friendly throughconstructing it in a manner that reduces outside stimuli, and isorganized as well as can be reorganized easily. For example, thecolors of the rooms will be designed in a low-toned manner withminimal patterns and use calming colors. Rooms should not haveintense light. Different techniques of lighting will be incorporatedsuch as dimmer lights, bubble tubes, projectors, and night lights.Organized and structured rooms maintain routine, for example, playthings will be organized in a logical and accessible manner.Furniture too will be arranged in a way that allows the child totransition easily from one activity to another without breaking anyroutine. Lastly, sensory items of various varieties will beinstalled, for example, shelves will be designed within an eye levelto keep the child engaged, and bathrooms will be installed with bathrail, toilet locks, non-slip stools, and non-slip surfaces to createa sensory-friendly and safe environment (Bailey, 2014).

EnvironmentalFactors that Would Hinder the Development of an Autistic Child

Soundissues are one of the environmental factors that would prevent thedevelopment of an autistic child. Exposing the child to excess noise,for example, would be distracting and lead to sensory overload. Useof fluorescent lighting in rooms would be uncomfortable to thechild’s sensory sensitivities because of its hum and flicker.Having long corridors can make a runner flee, which is common forautistic children when they are overwhelmed. Exposing an autisticchild to this type of environment could hinder their developmentpsychologically, physically, and socially (Bailey, 2014).

HowAutism affects the Patient’s Physical, Cognitive, and PsychosocialDevelopment

PhysicalDomain

Autismin children delays their development physically. The disorder affectsthe lower part of the brain responsible for coordination anddevelopment. An autistic child may have a muscle tone, which isdifferent from normal kids. Autism also affects the fine and grossmotor activities. Muscle transitions and smooth changes can be hard.Furthermore, lack of mental mapping of the body as well as inabilityto adapt to gravity tends to interfere with the child’s largermotor controls, which can result in slow and unpredictable movements(Bailey, 2014).

CognitiveDomain

Anautistic child can struggle with attention, organization, focus,memory, transitions, time management, frustrations, and emotionalcontrol. Normally, people utilize these high-level abilities toaccomplish a lot of everyday tasks, like working together andprioritizing things that need to be accomplished. For example, achild solving a math question may fail to find a solution because hecannot organize his ideas to solve it (Bailey, 2014).

PsychosocialDomain

Anautistic child will find it difficult to perceive things from others’outlook. He or she will have trouble comprehending that others canhave different beliefs and desires from them. He or she will find itdifficult to predict and understand others’ behavior, as well ashow their conduct affects others. Lastly, an autistic child may lackjoint attention skills crucial in facial expression interpretation(Bailey, 2014).

References

Bailey,A. (2014). Autism treatment research. AutismResearch,7(1),1-3. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/aur.1358

Burton,J. (2013). Creatingdementia-enabling environments.AustraliaJournal of Dementia Care,1(4) 10.

Kales,H., Gitlin, L., &amp Lyketsos, C. (2015). Assessment and managementof behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia. BMJ,350(7),369-369. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h369