Caring For A Patient With Alzheimer's Disease

3119 words - 12 pages

Mrs Marie is a 67 year old lady. She lives in local family friendly estate together with her 69 year old husband. According to Mr Marie, they have a daughter and 2 grandchildren. Mrs Marie used to work as a manager until she retired in her early 60s. She always had a good memory and high levels of concentration.

Mr Marie recalled that Mrs Marie could become disorientated at any moment, and could not remember where she was. She would easily lose track of conversations. Mr Marie reported that when it became worrying to him, he made an appointment to see their general practitioner (GP). She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Since the diagnosis, her husband became her main carer.
Not long ago Mrs Marie had an instance when she became disorientated during shopping trip and had to be guided home by a neighbour. She is appears to be physically well and her home is clean and well equipped for both her and her husband. She seems to understand where she is, but at times can become agitated, mostly when unable to answer some questions. Mr Marie reports that his wife sometimes burns food when cooking. Mr Marie says that they do not need any assistance at this time. They feel that together, they will be able to cope. However, during interview Mrs Marie shared her worry about diagnosis and its consequences for her and her family.
The word Dementia is adapted from combination of two Latin terms: “mens”-translating as mind, and “de”-translating as away from. According to R. Halgin and S. K. Whitebourne (2009), dementia is a form of cognitive deficiency, which involves progressive, generalized memory and learning deficits, which affects ability to communicate, to judge, and motor coordination. Dementia affects following brain functions: memory, language, judgement, and orientation.

Classification of Dementia.
• Pre-senile dementia (before 65 years of age)
• Senile dementia (after 65 years of age)
• Secondary dementia (any age)

Recent Legislation.
Dementia is a disability under Irish equality laws and under the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. This implies that people suffering dementia are protected by Irish Equality Law from any discrimination; in employment, in buying goods, and also using everyday services (The Alzheimer Society of Ireland 2012).
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is one type of dementia that accounts for between 50 and 60% of all people with dementia (Shire Ireland 2012). This disease can be viewed as a series of three stages: mild (early), moderate (middle) and severe (late)(Shire Ireland 2012). This condition includes such symptoms:
 memory loss,
 problems with use of language (aphasia),
 problems with body movements (apraxia),
 inability to recognise familiar problems (agnosia),
 disorientation to time and place,
 changes in mood or behaviour,
 changes in personality,
 loss of motivation,
 And repetition (Shire Ireland 2012).

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