What is Alzheimer’s disease?
A health article about Alzheimer’s disease fromYour Health Online the A to Z directory of dealing with Health Problems & nutritional Self Care Strategies
Alzheimer's Disease is the term used to describe a dementing disorder marked by certain brain changes, regardless of the age of onset. Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative problem characterized by memory loss as well as loss in thinking skills. It is actually part of a constellation of memory and brain problems called dementia.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive and degenerative problem under the umbrella of diseases called dementia. It is characterized by disorientation and impaired memory. It is apparently caused by an attack in the brain, affecting one’s memory, thinking skills and judgment. Most patients will experience a change in language ability, in the way they use their mental processes and of course their behavior.
It can lead to behavioral changes, loss of language skills, disorientation, confusion and increasing dependency. Most experts believe that Alzheimer’s is caused by a problem in the genetic make-up and is often associated with old age.
Alzheimer's disease is not a normal part of aging - - and it is not something that inevitable happens in later life.
Rather, it is one of the dementing disorders, a group of brain diseases that lead to the loss of mental and physical functions. The disorder, whole cause is unknown, affects a small but significant percentage of older Americans. A very small minority of alzheimer's patients are under 50 years of age. However, most are over 65.
Signs & Symptoms
Alzheimer's disease is a disorder in the brain. In time, the patient will gradually lose both the intellectual and social abilities making it difficult to do anything and even interact with others.
The onset of Alzheimer's disease is usually very slow and gradual, seldom occurring before age 65. Over time, however, it follows a progressively more serious course.
Among the symptoms that typically develop, none is unique to Alzheimer's disease at its various stages. It is therefore essential for suspicious changes to be thoroughly evaluated before they become inappropriately or negligently labeled Alzheimer's disease.
What is however difficult with this problem is the fact that the onset of the disease will often manifest in symptoms often associated with forgetfulness when getting old. What separates this problem though is the fact that people with Alzheimer’s will eventually even forget normal routines and simple tasks.
For instance, patients with Alzheimer’s can forget how to hold a spoon and fork while others will forget how to brush their teeth and take a bath. Believe it or not, some medical experts even say that some even forget hoe to breathe, something which comes quite naturally with a person.
One problem though with this is the fact that one can actually have no way of knowing whether it is ordinary forgetfulness or Alzheimer’s when it is just in the initial stages. It can start with ordinary forgetting of names and faces until it progresses to something major that can render the person totally incapacitated.
Problems of memory, particularly recent or short-term memory, are common early in the course of the disease. For example, the individual may, on repeated occasions, forget to turn off the iron or may not recall which of the morning's medicines were taken. Mild personality changes, such as less spontaneity or a sense of apathy and a tendency to withdraw from social interactions, may occur early in the illness.
As the disease progresses, problems in abstract thinking or in intellectual functioning develop. You may notice the individual beginning to have trouble with figures when working on bills, with understanding what is being read, or with organizing the days work. Further disturbances in behavior and appearance may also be seen at this point, such as agitation, irritability, quarrelsomeness, and diminishing ability to dress appropriately.
There is no known cure yet for Alzheimer's disease. The only thing medical science can do for now is simply delay the inevitable for those who have just been diagnosed with the disease.
Is Alzheimer's disease the same as dementia? The answer is no. This is because dementia is a symptom, which is caused by a disorder such as Alzheimer's disease.
There are many symptoms for this disease. It may begin with the person simply forgetting certain things. It is hard to tell at this point but when it gets worse such as not knowing how to get to the office or get home, then there is definitely a problem.
Some patients are known to forget how to do some simple mathematical computations or even find the right words when writing a letter. There are those who are also disoriented and find it difficult to do certain tasks and make simple decisions.
The worse of these symptoms is perhaps experiencing personality changes even in the presence of family members and close friends. There are times the person is happy and then this will just change for no reason at all.
As the disease advances, the Alzheimers sufferer will begin to lose more and more motor skills and the ability to function independently from another. They will then have to be cared for by qualified caregivers who will have to take care of getting them fed and mobile when needed.
When it is on its later stages, language problems may also happen because of the inability of the person to recall words that are appropriate for what they are going to say. The disease may also result to behavioral changes because of progressive memory loss. There are some patients who don’t remember how to go about their normal functions such as eating, sleeping or brushing their teeth. Some may even forget how to breathe.
Types of Altzheimer’s Disease
Because of the long development stage of the disease, Alzheimer's has been categorized into three levels which described its progression. These are mild, moderate and severe. These categories defined the disease from early (mild) to middle (moderate) until the final (severe) stages of the disease.
During the early stages of the disease, the symptoms are less noticeable and are often times left unchecked and considered trivial by family members and even the patient themselves. Among the early and classic signs Alzheimer's disease is the gradual loss of short-term memory.
At times, they find to be at lost while performing normal activities. Or they might get disoriented and get lost in places that they have been before. Also, at this stage, people afflicted with the disease may experience lapses of judgment and slight changes in personality. Mood swings and personality changes will start to worsen as the disease progress.
Moreover, attention span is reduced because of the presence of the brain disorder. People with Alzheimer's tend to be less motivated to complete activities or tasks. Furthermore, they become more stubborn and would oppose changes and new challenges set forth before them.
These are the general conditions or symptoms of people with the disease. The symptoms vary from person to person. Moreover, some other symptoms include speech problems, failure to identify or recognize objects, no recalling how to use simple, ordinary things like a pencil, and not remembering to turn off the lights, stove, or even lock doors and windows. As the disease progresses so do the symptoms.
However, if one acquires or notice the presence of some of the symptoms it does not necessarily mean that one has already been afflicted with the disease. Loss of memory for example might be just a normal cause of aging or other normal factors. Memory loss in Alzheimer's is more frequent.
People with the disease will more frequently forget words or names during conversations. And because they become conscious of their forgetfulness, they tend to avoid conversations and would rather keep quiet in order to avoid mistakes and embarrassments. They will then become withdrawn which can cause a myriad of other problems like depression and anti-social behaviors.
Other things that might happen are the discovery of things in odd places. One might find books inside freezers, clothes in dishwasher and even plates in washing machines. People with Alzheimer's will ask questions repeatedly up to the point that it becomes irritating. They can be provoked quite easily and can surprisingly flare up in anger.
Stages of Alzheimer's
There are seven known stages for this type of disorder and it only gets worse as time goes by.
In the first stage, the individual and those around will not notice anything wrong. The person may forget a thing or two, which everyone experiences so there is no cause for alarm yet.
During the second stage, the person may already feel something wrong as this memory lapses happen more frequently. Again, there is no need yet to be alarmed because people tend to forget things due to aging.
The third stage is the time when someone can be suspected of having this disease. The person will falter at work or be unable to accomplish some simple tasks and people will take notice of these changes.
In the fourth stage, the individual can no longer handle certain activities and will require the assistance of those around to accomplish it.
The fifth stage is what doctors describe to be moderate Alzheimer's disease. The individual will not only forget other people but also be unable to recall certain facts about oneself. There will also be periods of disorientation.
In the sixth stage better known as moderately severe Alzheimer's, there will already mood swings. The patient may be happy and in the next minute appear hostile to those around. There will also be fecal and urinary incontinence just like a baby who is not yet toilet trained.
The seventh and final stage is called severe Alzheimer's. The individual will not be able to speak much and do anything anymore. The patient will probably just stare into space so there will be times that those around will have to carry and force feed to be able to stay alive.
Those who have family members who are suffering from this disease should learn about the various stages to be able to understand what the patient is going through to give the proper help.
Facts and History of Alzheimer’s disease
It was German psychiatrist Dr. Alois Alzheimer who first identified the disease. At first he noted the disease's symptoms as "amnestic writing disordear," however when later studies were conducted Dr. Alzheimer found out that the symptoms were more than ordinary memory loss. It was far worse.
Dr. Alzheimer found the presence of neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques in the brain. The good doctor presented his findings which were accepted by the medical community. And soon enough, by 1910 the name of the disease was accepted and became known as Alzheimer's disease.
The most common early symptoms of the disease are confusion, being inattentive and have problems with orientation, personality changes, experiencing short-term memory loss, language difficulties and mood swings. Probably the most obvious and striking early symptom of Alzheimer's is loss of short term memory.
At fist the victim will exhibits minor forgetfulness, but as the disease slowly progress he/she will start to forget a lot of things. However, older memories are oftentimes left untouched. Because of this, patients with Alzheimer's will start to be less energetic and spontaneous. As the disease progress, they will have trouble learning new things and reacting on outside stimuli which gets them all confused and causes them to exercise poor judgment. This is considered Stage 1 of the disease.
At Stage 2 the patient will now need assistance in performing complicated tasks. Speech and understanding is evidently slower. At this stage, Alzheimer's victims are already aware that they have the disease which causes a whole lot of problems like depression and restlessness.
At this point, only the distant past can be recalled and recent events are immediately forgotten. Patients will have difficulty telling time, date and where they are.
The final stage is of course the hardest, both for the patient and their family. At Stage 3 the patient will start to lose control of a lot of bodily functions like simple chewing and swallowing. He/she will start getting the needed nutrients through a tube. At Stage 3, the patient will no longer remember basically anyone.
They will lose bowel and bladder control and they will become vulnerable to third party infections and diseases like pneumonia. Once the patient become bedridden, things will only get worse. Respiratory problems will become more terrible.
It is apparent that the patient will need constant care. At this point, the most one can do is to make sure that the patient stays as comfortable as possible. At the terminal stage, death is inevitable.
The average course of the disease from the time it is recognized to death is about 6 to 8 years, but it may range from under 2 years to over 20 years. Those who develop the disorder later in life may die from other illnesses (such as heart disease) before Alzheimer's disease reaches its final and most serious stage.
The reaction of an individual to the illness and the way he or she copes with it also varies and may depend on such factors as lifelong personality patterns and the nature and severity of the stress in the immediate environment.
As research on Alzheimer's disease continues, scientists are now describing other abnormal chemical changes associated with the disease. These include nerve cell degeneration in certain areas of the brain. Also, defects in certain blood vessels supplying blood to the brain have been studied as a possible contributing factor.
Other things often noticeable may be depression, severe uneasiness, and paranoia or delusions that accompany or result from the disease, but they can often be alleviated by appropriate treatments.
Alzheimer's disease has emerged as one of the great mysteries in modern day medicine, with a growing number of clues but still no answers as to its cause. Researchers have come up with a number of theories about the cause of this disease but so far the mystery remains unresolved.
Because of the many other disorders that are often confused with Alzheimer's disease, a comprehensive clinical evaluation is essential to arrive at a correct diagnosis of any symptoms that look similar to those of Alzheimer's disease. In most cases, the family physician can be consulted about the best way to get the necessary examinations.
What Causes Alzheimer’s disease?
The main cause of Alzheimer's disease that researchers today have found out is damaged brain cells that die for unknown reasons. The cause of Alzheimer's disease, which was first isolated by the German neurologist Dr. Alois Alzheimer, is the abnormal clumping together of brain cells. These clumps, also known as plaques, and knots or tangles which disrupt normal brain functioning, are considered as the main definitive characteristics of Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer's Disease and Its Cause
Genetics are also being studied as a possible cause of Alzheimer's disease. Another possible cause of the disease is seen to be a slow developing viral infection that results in brain inflammation. Although the actual cause of Alzheimer's disease may not yet be known and still in the discovery stages, there are a number of risk factors that is known to increase the likelihood of Alzheimer development.
Age is known as a risk cause of Alzheimer's disease. As a person ages, the likelihood that he or she will develop Alzheimer's also increases. The average age of diagnosis for Alzheimer's is about 80 years old. Gender is also seen as involved in the development of Alzheimer's disease, but studies for this may still be inconclusive. The reason as to why the risk is seen to be greater in women is that they tend to live longer than the men.
Hereditary tendency is being looked into as another risk cause of Alzheimer's disease. The presence of some defective genes and genetic mutations within the same bloodlines has also been seen to increase the development of Alzheimer's disease.
Another possible cause of Alzheimer's disease that is being looked into is the malfunction of the immune system and protein imbalances that occur in the brain. Certain environmental factors such as the presence of aluminum in the home or workplace are also being put under investigation as a possible cause of Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer's disease is the exception, rather than the rule, in old age. Only 5 to 6 percent of older people are afflicted by alzheimer's disease or a related dementia - - but this means approximately 3 to 4 million Americans have one of these debilitating disorders.
Research indicates that 1 percent of the population aged 65-75 has severe dementia, increasing to 7 percent of those aged 75-85 and to 25 percent of those 85 or older. As out population ages and the number of alzheimer's patients increases, costs of care will rise as well.
Though Alzheimer's disease cannot at present be cured, reversed, or stopped in its progression, much can be done to help both the patient and the family live through the course of the illness with greater dignity and less discomfort. Toward this goal, appropriate clinical interventions and community services should be vigorously sought.
While Alzheimer's disease remains a mystery, with its cause and cure not yet found, there is considerable excitement and hope about new findings that are unfolding in numerous research settings. The connecting pieces to the puzzle called Alzheimer's disease continue to be found.
People with Alzheimers have abnormal deposits of protein in their brains. These brain protein coat the brain and interacts with the neurons, neurotransmitters and nerves, causing damage and massive atrophy. Eventually, the brain will continue to shrink and the otherwise wrinkled surface will start to smoothen out. This is basically what causes the degeneration in the mind and in the person's body.
Who is at risk? There is no way at the present time to determine who may get Alzheimer's disease. The main risk factor for the disease is increased age. The rates of the disease increase markedly with advancing age, with 25 percent of people over 85 suffering from Alzheimer's or other sever dementia.
Unbelievably, one out of ten people over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, in a recent statistic polls, almost 19 million Americans suffer one way or the other from this dreaded progressive disease. Below are some information that you will find useful about the disease.
Although there are cases of Alzheimer’s that affected people in their 30s, most patients are over the age of 65 and a vast majority is over the age of 85. In addition to old age, experts believe that a family history of the same problem or of dementia may predispose someone to the disease. This is because experts pinpoint a defect in the genetic make up of the person who has Alzheimer’s disease.
People who are not much into mental pursuits or work that do not much involve mental strains will also most likely develop the disease compared to people who often stretch their mental muscles. In fact, one of the ways to prevent the onset of dementia is to exercise the brain all the time especially during old age.
Even when one is already retired from work, old people should not forget to still use their minds by engaging in mental pursuits such as reading, answering crossword puzzles and even playing board games.
Alzheimers and Dementia
Alzheimers and dementia are strongly linked because Alzheimers disease is the most common type of dementia. Dementia is the constant evolution of the atrophy of the brain's cognitive functions. In the case of Alzheimers, abnormal protein build up happen in the brain which interferes with its normal functions through interactions with the brain nerves and neurotransmitters that cause these elements to whither and die.
Alzheimers and dementia are attributed with progressive memory loss and other functions that are attributed to brain deterioration. Natural brain atrophy and cognitive function loss is a normal experience by humans as we age. However, Alzheimers type of dementia is way beyond that of what is considered the norm.
Alzheimers type dementia is extremely debilitating and the disease can run its course from as fast as 5 years but some cases stretch on to 20 years. The disruption of Alzheimers type dementia can be very confusing and difficult. What's really hard to accept is that as of the moment, there are no known cures or successful treatments available for Alzheimers patients.
Of all the types of dementia, only a very tiny percentage is reversible and Alzheimers is not one of them. Once it attacks, there can be no slowing or stopping down. All one can do is be prepared for the onslaught. In this case, it is also important the patient's friends and loved one understand and know all about Alzheimers and dementia so that they too can be allowed to cope with this situation.
If you suffer from the very early stages of Alzheimers type dementia, it can be very difficult for you to accept what is happening to you while you are aware of your situation. Often times, patients can create very difficult situations for themselves as well as for the people around them. For instance, people with Alzheimers type dementia can have the same conversation with the same person over and over again without realizing it.
Perhaps a person with Alzheimers type dementia can forget that they have just previously called a loved one to tell them something only to put the phone down and call right back to talk about the exact same thing. Situations like these can cause difficulties that is why it is important for people with Alzheimers type dementia to have the proper care.
Loss of correct judgment will inadvertently follow as the Alzheimers type dementia progresses so it might be prudent for patients to be supervised all the time. Eventually, patients will have to depend exclusively on specialized care for all their needs. This makes it important for patients and their loved ones to choose the right facility for this process.
It is important that people with Alzheimers type dementia be treated with respect and dignity all throughout the duration of the disease. While the patient has not lost all ability to make judgments and remember important things, they should be consulted in terms of what facilities or type of professional care they think they would benefit from.
As a loved one of someone who has Alzheimers type dementia, it can be very hard and painful to witness the progressing of the disease. This may cause some negative emotions and a lot of grief that may be unwittingly projected at the patient.
However, at the onset of the disease, when the patient is still conscious and aware, they can go through an even more painful process of accepting their disease.
Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease:
Although nothing has been proven yet, some studies show that doing mental tasks can actually slow down the progression of the disease. For instance, patients who love to answer puzzles and play mental games like chess are slower in their progression compared to other patients with the same degree and case of Alzheimer.
Because of this, some scientists believe that Alzheimer’s can be prevented through the use of the mental process. Below are some ways to prevent Alzheimer’s from settling in.
Learn something new
Old age is not a reason to stop learning new things. You can learn a variety of things, dancing, cooking, singing, a new language, crafts, the arts. There are so many things to choose from. Don the things that you have not done before, things that you never thought, you’ll be doing. Your age should not be hindrance to the things that you want to do.
In addition to enriching your life, learning something new affords a fresh challenge for your brains. This way, your mental processes will be used once again. This keeps the brain cells in shape and sharp.
Play mind games
This is not to say that you should be scheming and plotting, stirring the boat for the members of your family. Mind games here refer to the tamer kind, crossword puzzles, sudoku. These are ways to sharpen those mental skills and memory. This also allows you to practice or be familiar with words and things once again, lessening the chance of you forgetting them.
When to seek Medical Advice:
Among the various tests available there is one set of tests that has recently been developed that will further help make diagnosing Alzheimer's disease easier. A professor of psychology at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, has developed a new tool for testing called the Seven Minute Screen that can test people for the early signs of Alzheimer's disease as well as other forms of dementia.
The said test, developed by Paul Solomon, is actually a set of four tests that can be administered to patients in just less than ten minutes, can also be completed on average of just seven minutes and forty three seconds. What makes the said test even more convenient is that it can be administered by any medical professional with just over an hour of basic training.
The short time that it takes for completing the whole test is an attractive option for doctors who may not have the luxury of time when they are diagnosing patients with Alzheimer's.
This type of test is just a part of a much larger effort by medical researchers to develop better ways of detecting Alzheimer's early. A likely option that some researchers are trying to look into is the use of brain scanning technology such as magnetic resonance imaging or MRI to identify even the smallest damage to the brain before any impairment in cognitive ability ever show up in people likely to develop Alzheimer's. Other possible approaches being studied involve looking for gene abnormalities in patients that have been linked to Alzheimer's disease.
As mentioned earlier, it is extremely difficult for a person to differentiate an ordinary case of forgetfulness and dementia at the beginning of the progression.
Some of the symptoms of the disease such as slow mental processing and forgetfulness may be attributed to other problems such as thyroid gland problems, reactions to medications that are being taken, and even just a normal aging process.
To really ensure that the problem is indeed Alzheimer’s, doctors rule out other possibilities and conduct series of tests. The only way actually to conclusively determine the presence of Alzheimer’s is to examine a cross section of the brain tissue when a person is already dead.
A neurological scan is the best way to check if the patient has Alzheimer's disease. If it is confirmed, the individual has this problem, the best way to treat it is through the use of medical prescribed drugs.
There are two namely memantine and cholinesterase inhibitors. Studies have shown these can slow down the process as scientists are still conducting research to finally find a cure for this disease.
Patients who are diagnosed with the disorder will probably live more for 8 more years. This will really depend on how strong the person is because some have lived for 3 while others have fought with it for more than 10 years.
Drugs to Fight Alzheimer's
Although there is no known cure yet for Alzheimer's disease, there are already a number of drugs available worldwide that can help slow down a patient's cognitive deterioration. The main aim of these Alzheimer's medications is to try and improve cognitive ability or the person's capability to think, perceive, judge and recognize.
There are currently five drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that can be used to treat Alzheimer's. There is ongoing research done all the time to test the effectiveness of such medications since they do not serve as a cure-all for the disease. These medications may not have the same effects on all patients that are suffering from Alzheimer's. But such prescription drugs can have significant effects on some of the patients with Alzheimer's disease and should be given consideration as a possible
The 5 FDA Approved Medications are:
The first four drugs listed above belong to a group of drugs known as Cholinesterase Inhibitors. They work by trying to delay the break down of a substance known as acetylcholine in the brain which helps in bridging communication between nerve cells and has an important role in a person's memory.
Nameda on the other hand acts on another neurotransmitter called glutamate and shields the brain from then said substance which contributes to the death of brain cells in people with Alzheimer's disease. This drug is more effective in treating moderate to severe forms of Alzheimer's disease, improving the day to day life of the person with Alzheimer's disease.
The most common side effects associated with the drug Nameda include dizziness, confusion, constipation, headache and skin rashes. Some patients may experience less common side effects such as tiredness, back pain, high blood pressure, insomnia, hallucinations, vomiting and occasional shortness of breath.
The drugs Aricept, Exelon and Razadyne are seen to be most effective in treating the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. This group of prescription drugs has been shown to have some modest effect in slowing down the degeneration of a patient's cognitive abilities.
These drugs can also help in trying to reduce certain behavioral problems usually exhibited by people suffering from Alzheimer's. When these drugs are administered effectively on an Alzheimer's patient, they can significantly improve one's quality of life and more able to cope up with the disease.
Alzheimer's patients taking these medications may experience some side effects which may not be the same for all patients. Common side effects observed in patients using the drug Aricept include nausea, vomiting, excessive tiredness, sleeping troubles and muscle cramps.
Less frequent observed side effects of the drug are headaches and dizziness with rare cases of patients suffering from anorexia, gastric or duodenal ulcers, gastro-intestinal hemorrhage, bladder overflow obstruction, liver damage, convulsions, heart problems and psychiatric disturbances while using Aricept as medication.
The usual side effects seen in using Exelon as treatment for Alzheimer's are nausea, vomiting, weight loss, stomach upset and fatigue. Less usual side effects observed with the use of the said drug are abdominal pain, sweating, diarrhea, headaches, tremor, and psychiatric disturbances such as anxiety or depression with rare cases of patients experiencing gastro-intestinal bleeding.
The drug Cognex is used less frequently for Alzheimer's treatment as it can cause serious liver damage to most patients. Other side effects of the drug include nausea and vomiting. Some patients may also experience some abdominal pain, sore muscles, headache, dizziness, rapid breathing, increased urination, insomnia, runny nose or mouth, swelling in legs and feet when taking Cognex. Some of the most severe side effects associated with using Cornex are liver damage, heart problems and seizures.
The common side effects often reported with the use of Razadyne are nausea, vomiting, appetite loss and weight loss. Less common are fatigue, dizziness, tremor, headaches, abdominal pain, urinary tract infection, blood in urine, runny nose. There are no serious side effects with this drug.
Finding caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s disease
One of the most dreaded diseases in old age is Alzheimer’s disease. Although unlike cancer and heart problem, this is actually not fatal. In fact, people with Alzheimer’s can live for a long time with proper care. That is actually the problem most of the time.
With Alzheimer’s disease, the patient need to be taken cared of all the time. This is because the memory loss will often render the patient incapable of thinking and reasoning. Some will even forget how to do the simplest of tasks, like brushing their teeth and even eating with a spoon and fork.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive and degenerative disease that affects the brain. The problem often leads to massive memory loss not only in terms of one’s memories but also one’s learning. Patients will forget everything that they have learned even routinary tasks that they have learned when they were just tots. Some people will also find it hard to learn new things and may even lose their language abilities. They will have difficulties in their speech and in their writing.
Because of this, caring for a patient with Alzheimer’s disease can be extremely difficult. It is actually like caring for a newborn babe but while a baby will slowly learn to function independently, patients with Alzheimer’s will lose what they have learned and will slowly become more and more dependent with their caregivers.
Thus, it is important to find a caregiver that is both professionally-capable and caring as they will determine the progress that the patient will have as well as their over all condition and behavior.
Here are some tips in finding a good caregiver for an Alzheimer’s patient.
Choose a professional
It is good to look for a person that is already well experienced in caring for people with Alzheimer’s. Not only will their experience come in handy when it comes to dealing with the patient’s medicines and medical routines, they will also be more patient because of prior knowledge.
One problem though in hiring these kinds of people is the money that you will shell out for their salaries. Private nurses and caregivers are expensive enough as it is without adding the burden of a specialization. If you just cannot afford to hire someone with enough experience, try one who has worked with old people and then give him or her materials that will make them familiar with the basics of the disease.
Choose someone you know
Nothing beats hiring someone that you already know or someone that you have already seen working. Patients with Alzheimer’s will have a lot of quirks and behavior that can be extremely irritating and difficult to deal with. Thus, it is important that you choose someone that you know will have a lot of patience and care.
Of course, if a member of the family can spare the time for the patient, that is good. If not, you can ask for recommendations from people that you know. Chances are they know someone who can take care of a patient with Alzheimer’s.
Choose someone strong
Although this is actually not a major issue, it is also important that you choose someone who can deal with the patient and the often back breaking tasks. Remember that because the patient is full- dependent on the person, they will sometimes need to carry them or guide them when walking.
Self Care strategies for Living with Alzheimer’s disease
Living With Alzheimer's Disease
When someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, those around should not think that it is the end of the world. The best thing to do is help the one who is suffering from it until the person dies.
There are drugs in the market that can help ease the pain but not reverse the process or stop the disease from spreading. The only thing it can do is slow down the process that could buy enough time until a cure has been found.
Family members should give this or hire a caregiver to do that when no one is able to take care of the person.
In time, the sufferer may not even recall the name of the children. One way to help the one living with Alzheimer's is through the use of visual aids. The name and the picture of the person can be shown in a card and someone can conduct memory exercises on the individual.
It will also be a good idea to talk as often as possible with the patient. The person should be within the line of sight of the individual and must say each word slowly in order to understand each word being said.
The best place to treat someone with Alzheimer's is in the home. The people who are there should make sure that there is order in the house and it is quiet at all times because noise will just aggravate the patient.
Living with someone who has Alzheimer's can be compared to taking care of a toddler. This is because the person will touch anything in sight and might even get hurt in the process. The best thing to do is to take make sure there is no clutter in the house and items that are deemed unsafe are hidden from view.
Alzheimer sufferers are known to wander off. The person can lock the doors but should the patient manage to get out, it is best to have either a bracelet or a pocket card inserted in the clothing. This must have the name, address of the patient as well as the contact number where someone can be reached to pick up the wanderer.
Studies show that those who are suffering from Alzheimer's disease really get worked up in the evening. This can be prevented by coming up with evening rituals such as washing the dishes, watching television or walking around for a while to make the patient calm and sleep tight.
Those who are suffering from Alzheimer's aside from the medicine prescribed by the doctor also need exercise. It doesn’t have to be anything extraneous but just enough to keep the strength up. An early morning walk or lifting small weights are just a few examples to promote a certain level of fitness for the patient.
It is not easy living with someone who has Alzheimer's disease because the task of taking care of someone is both tiring and frustrating. People have to understand that no one wanted this to happen but the reality is that the problem is there.
It is a good thing there are support groups out there that can help family members and patients cope with this disease. The people can also live closer because it won't be long before the inevitable will happen and this person will go off to a better place.
Stress on the family can take a toll on both the patient and the caregiver alike. Caregivers are usually family members - - either spouses or children - - and usually wives and daughters. As time passes and the burden mounts, it not only places the mental health of family caregivers at risk. It also diminishes their ability to provide care to the diseased patient. Hence, assistance to the family as a whole must be considered.
As the disease progresses, families experience increasing anxiety and pain at seeing unsettling changes in a loved one, and they commonly feel guilt over not being able to do enough. The prevalence of reactive depression among family members in this situation is disturbingly high - - caregivers are chronically stressed and are much more likely to suffer from depression than the average person.
If caregivers have been forced to retire from positions outside the home. They feel progressively more isolated and no longer productive members of society.
The likelihood, intensity, and duration of depression among caregivers can all be lowered through available interventions. For example, to the extent that family members can offer emotional support to each other and perhaps seek professional consultation, they will be better prepared to help their loved one manage the illness and to recognize the limits of what they themselves can reasonably do.
Although Alzheimer's disease is not yet curable or reversible, there are ways to alleviate symptoms and suffering and to assist families. And not every person with this illness must necessarily move to a nursing home.
Many thousands of patients - - especially those in the early stages of the disease - - are cared for by their families in the community. Indeed, one of the most important aspects of medical management is family education and family support services. When, or whether, to transfer a patient to a nursing home is a decision to be carefully considered by the family.
Physical and mental exercises must be administered to keep the patient's strength up and even help depression, which is another symptom commonly, associated with Alzheimer's disease.
Whenever the people visit, it is best for each person to stay in the line of sight of the patient. It is best to speak slowly and even hold on to the individual, which is known to make the sufferer remember who he or she is talking to.
Diet change strategies:
Even when we try to eat well, we're disadvantaged. The nutritional content of most food has been compromised over the years, not only by deficient soils and modern production, transportation, storage and processing methods, but also by the enormous amounts of chemical and artificial substances added to promote growth, storage life, taste and appearance.
It's for this reason that more and more medical authorities are advocating the use of vitamin and mineral supplements. However, finding them in the right combination can be both confusing and costly.
The nutrition products I am going to recommend you make use of knowledge gained from the botanical world's 6,000 year history. They incorporated health building nutritional herbs with the best modern technology to help our bodies cleanse and detoxify so that the cells - the tiniest living units - can be as fully nourished as possible. This allows the cells to grow, repair and to perform their functions with the best possible efficiency so that we feel and look better and are more able to prevent and fight disease. Once the body begins to clear itself of toxins it can more efficiently absorb nutrition.
Further reading through our articles on health issues will give you a body of information that will help you decide what options you have to deal with the underlying causes of your problem. .
We wish you well in your search for solutions to this problem and your movement towards better health in all areas.
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Below here are examples of Health Success Results other people have had with using a self care strategy for dealing with Alzheimer’s disease:
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Living with Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's disease is one form of dementia that affects a person's memory and thinking ability. It usually progresses through seven stages as a person …
Alzheimers | Remembering Your Life
Memories will fade: disease, age, and a host of other factors will contribute to that decline. What do you recall of the games you played when you were …
Caring For Your Brain – Part 2
While a healthy body can help keep the brain healthy, you have to keep your mind in tip-top shape too to have it working at maximum power. …
Caring For Your Brain – Part 1
We have thought about caring for our body. We have always been conscious of our physical fitness, but have we ever thought about out mental fitness? We …
How is Alzheimers treated?
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SITE DISCLAIMER: Do these products “cure” anything? Of course not… but it stands to reason that if you cleanse your body and feed it the finest nutrition available, giving it everything it needs in balance, on a daily basis, that your body will do what nature intended, and give you the best possible chance to fend off sickness and disease. This Alzheimer’s disease information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any Alzheimer’s disease questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read. Any natural and/or dietary supplements that are not FDA approved or evaluated must be accompanied by a two-part disclaimer on the product label: that the statement has not been evaluated by FDA and that the product is not intended to "diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease”.
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