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Alzheimer's Disease Essay

2020 words - 9 pages

When I was younger I had a babysitter that would look out for me. At the time, I didn’t seem to notice the simple things she started to forget, such as where she left my bottle of orange juice. I remember one day, when she didn’t come, my grandma told me “She’s sick.”

At first I thought it was a simple cold; but as I got older it didn’t make sense. Just a few years back, I learned that she had Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

AD is very common. Even through movies and TV shows it has been made more acceptable and not so taboo. Movies and TV Shows such as The Notebook, Grey’s Anatomy, Always From Her and Poetry are all concerning this disease.

The brain consists of more than one ...view middle of the document...

6 million people worldwide are living with dementia at the moment. By 2030 it’s said that this number will be doubled and will triple when 2050 comes. Around 58% of people, living with dementia are in low and middle income countries such as Pakistan which is one of lower income countries. Facts say that by 2050, this percentage will rise to 70% and more. People living in low and middle income countries; don’t have the money for treatments and taking care of people with dementia. The cost for taking care as well as treating people with this disease costs the world more than $604 billion per year.

WHO states that only eight countries worldwide have national programs in place for people with dementia. Even high income countries, such as USA, only have one half of dementia cases that are recognized. When dementia is recognized, it is usually a very late stage of the disease. Dr. Oleg Chestnov, said “We need to increase our capacity to detect dementia early and to provide the necessary health and social care. Much can be done to decrease the burden of dementia. Health-care workers are often not adequately trained to recognize dementia.”1

In the USA, AD is the 6th leading cause of death; therefore, it’s a very common and serious illness that should attract more publicity. November is the National AD Awareness Month.

The government and the local sector, through donations, invest a lot of money into the healthcare facilities, thus they have a very high quality of patient care. However, the number of deaths each year is increasing.

AD is an incurable disease. Therefore there are a lot of medical associations within the USA that are willing and able to help patients with the more serious stages of this disease. The AFA (Alzheimer’s foundation of America) is just one of the foundations that exist.

The data from 2010 BRFSS (Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey), that are run in New York, New Jersey, and Tennessee, found that about 62% of caregivers of patients with AD and other dementias were women, 23% were 65 year olds and older, 50% had a college degree, 59% were unemployed, and 70% were in a long-term relationship/married. However, not paid caregivers might not always be the right solution. When the last couple of stages of AD approach, the patient would be best taken care of in a nursing home, because they are taught and know what to do with them, unlike a family member that might be going through this for the very first time.

Paid as well as experienced caregivers know how to deal with the behavioral symptoms of this disease which include: wandering, aggressive behavior, anxiety… Also the caregiver needs to know how to assist the patient with daily living, which may include: bathing, feeding, dressing…

With regard to medication, the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has approved some for treatment of AD. There is a separate medication for every AD stage. For all stages the drug donepezil hydrochloride is used. As the...

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