Patients with physical impairments often hold on to a glimmer of hope that treatment or new advancements in medicine will emerge that will allow doctors to reverse the signs and symptoms associated with their conditions. The prospects may be much dimmer for individuals suffering from cognitive impairments, though. Individuals with brain, memory or neurologic disorders often slowly become shells of the people they once were without any hope of restoration to their old selves, making it hard for them and their caregivers to cope.
One of the main differences between an individual who suffers from physical versus cognitive impairments is how the afflicted person may look. While you may be able to readily note the physical limitations that someone’s arthritis or spinal cord injury may have on them, an individual’s cognitive difficulties may not be as apparent until you interact with them for some time.
Some common deficits that individuals with cognitive impairments face include behavior, memory and communication problems.
Behavioral problems often vary depending on the condition an afflicted individual has and their age. It’s not uncommon for a person with a cognitive impairment to have difficulty with self-regulation of their emotions. This can result in unexpected emotional reactions. These individuals may experience erratic behavior like self-injury and violence toward others as a result.
Individuals who suffered a brain injury or stroke or received a Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis often struggle with memory problems. Relying on that person to keep track of when they went to the doctor, last ate, took medication or showered may be impossible.
Someone who has a cognitive impairment may also struggle to speak. Even if a patient can talk, what they say may be unintelligible. Individuals with certain neurologic conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinson’s may ultimately lose the ability to speak at all. A patient’s inability to communicate or have others understand them can be quite frustrating and cause their basic needs to go unmet.
Caring for someone with cognitive impairments can be costly and labor-intensive. Funding treatment, medication and round-the-clock caregiving for a loved one can be expensive. The fact that these individuals cannot work to provide for their basic needs creates even more of a financial burden. An attorney here in Oklahoma City who is familiar with Social Security Disability benefits for mental conditions may be able to help you receive the benefits you deserve.