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Alzheimers And Its Effect On A Family

2092 words - 8 pages

Alzheimer's Disease and how it effects the Family Alzheimer's disease is a form of dementia, or disorders that result in the decline of intellectual functions such as remembering, reasoning, and abstract thinking. It is a difficult time for family as well as the patient. Your actions toward the patient could weaken or improve the stages of the disease. This disease affects more than 161000 Canadians over the age of sixty-five. The elderly are a growing concern for the future because of lack of healthcare, which Alzheimer's is a huge part of. You have to be able to deal with the disease of the family member, yourself, and your attitude toward it. Through extensive research it becomes clear that Alzheimer's disease affects, the family in a fundamental way. Every family member will have many adjustments. It is a stressful time for everyone involved. However, it will undoubtedly bring the family unit closer together. As many as seven stages have been identified by medical practitioners and researchers. It is commonly accepted however, that four stages adequately reflect the disease progression. Keep in mind that the stages are only a rough guide and that a person does not move smoothly from one stage to another. Each situation is unique.Stage 1 - Incidents of forgetfulness are often difficult to distinguish from normal forgetfulness - Denial by the person and/or family may occur - One or two particularly unusual events alert the family that something may be wrong - Difficult to pinpoint the problem and get an accurate diagnosis Stage 2 - Memory deteriorates ie. Recent memory is lost - Language deteriorates ie. Trouble recalling words and expressing thoughts - Ability to do simple calculations lost ie. Cheque book - Agitation increases eg. Constant pacing, repetitive behavior, wandering - Sleep disturbances occur eg. Wandering at night - Ability for self "“care is lost eg. Needs help dressing, bathing, going to the bathroom - New situations or tasks resulting in emotional strain such as tears, anger, or aggression can overwhelm the patient - The denial of the presence of a problem is no longer possible - Increased probability of getting an accurate diagnosis Stage 3 - No memory for motor activities eg. Dressing, walking - No memory for eating activities eg. How to use utensils - Increased changes in personality - Extreme mood swings - No control of bladder and bowel - Care needs increase and care becomes more challenging Stage 4 - Terminal stage - May be extremely agitated or non-responsive to environment - Needs total care in all aspects: feeding, dressing, bathing, and diapering - Often bed-ridden, non-communicative - May need tube feeding - May need hydration for comfort eg. Intervenes fluids The primary symptom of Alzheimer's disease is memory loss. A person with Alzheimer's type of memory loss will forget recent experiences such as what they did the day before. They do not remember that they have forgotten anything,...

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