Christian Connolly 6/12/15 (C2)

About Alzheimers

Alzheimers (very common, approximately 3 million U.S. cases per year), also called "Senile Dementia," is a memory destroying disease that usually occurs in adults past the age of 65, but has also occurred in adults young as 20. Symptoms include anger, depression, difficulty understanding and comprehending simple things, irritability, wandering and many other harsh conditions that come with this disease. These symptoms occur because of the loss of brain cells and the shrinkage of the Cortex. While there are no current cures, medicines such as Memantine, Donepezil, Galantmine and Rivastigmine may temporarily improve these symptoms. Physiatrists, Neurologists and Geriatricians treat Alzheimer patients in many different scenarios. Physiatrists treat the mental disorders of a Dementia patient while Neurologists treat the Neurological disorders of the patient. Also, Geriatricians focus on the health of the elderly patients who may have trouble caring for themselves. In 2015, caring for Alzheimers will cost approximately $226 billion, while it is estimated that in 2050, this cost will rise to $1.1 trillion. Also, Alzheimers is the 6th leading cause of death in America today and the only leading cause of death in America in the top 10 that can not be prevented or cured. These deaths are caused by Alzheimers related heart attacks and organ failures. Every 68 seconds in America, someone develops the disease.

What a patient should/shouldn't do

Dealing with Alzheimers can be hard for a patient and a caregiver. Many caregivers stay in denial of their loved ones mental absence's. This is not good for the patient. They should not be treated (for one minute) like a minority, as this is a serious issue. Denying their disease can leave you and the patient frustrated after they do something irresponsible, like break a glass or fall. Professional help is always suggested, as ignoring or making excuses makes the situation worse. Another common mistake is to ask "Don't you remember?" This can force a patient to strain their memory for something they don't remember. It can make them even more agitated and confused which can decline any improvement. Arguing or contradicting a patient, even if the argument is ridiculous, can turn a peaceful day into a stressful and nasty argument. This stress is a burden for the already disoriented patient. A nursing staff may become necessary for a patient at one point in their diagnosis. Delaying this can slow the process of reaching a peaceful mental state for the patient to live the duration of their life in. Even though these arrangements can be costly, caring for an Alzheimer patient can take a lot, and enjoying time with them is key. Along with this, do not stop visiting your loved ones, as this may result in the complete loss of recognition. This is necessary for the patient because it keeps them company, even if they are oblivious to their company. Lastly, and most importantly, take the steps to seizing a patient's drivers license. Operating machinery is a perplexed task that requires quick thinking. Driving can be a safety issue which needs to be taken care of. Visiting can direct you to taking the necessary procedures to securing a patient's license.


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"5 Things Alzheimers Caregivers Shouldn't Do - Alexander Chapel Healthcare." Alexander Chapel Healthcare. N.p., 02 June 2014. Web. 12 June 2015.