Alzheimer’s Disease: Care and Support

Table of Contents

Abstract

Alzheimer’s disease worsens as it proceeds and might ultimately lead to death. More than twenty-seven million people around the globe have Alzheimer’s disease. Though the disease develops in different approaches for each patient, there are several common warning signs. Because Alzheimer’s disease is untreatable and chronic, the patients progressively rely on others for support. The commitment of members of the family and health professionals while carrying out evaluations to identify comorbid medical conditions is essential. Relatives should be mindful of other health problems that could emerge with the progression of Alzheimer’s disease including malnourishment and poor hygiene to mention a few.

Introduction

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most widespread dementia and has no documented cure. It worsens as it progresses and may ultimately result in death. Alzheimer’s disease is frequently diagnosed in individuals past the age of sixty-five years although less-frequent early-onset of the ailment may arise. More than 25 million individuals around the globe have AD. It is predicted to affect about 1% of all people around the world by 2050 (Karger, 2018). In the early stages, the most frequent symptom of AD is difficulty in memorizing recent events, known as temporary loss of memory. Though AD develops in different approaches for each patient, there is a range of common warning signals.

Care and Support

Psychological prompts, nutrition, and physical exercise signify some known practices that hinder cognitive symptoms in strong older people. The duty of the main caregiver is often undertaken by the spouse or a close member of the family (Karger, 2018). AD has been found to exert a great burden on caregivers; their tasks may be extensive, entailing social, psychological, physical, and monetary factors. In the developed world, AD is among the most costly diseases to treat.

More than 20% of individuals with AD have other chronic diseases such as coronary failure, diabetes, and degenerative arthritis as well. The primary care provider should diagnose comorbid conditions and control them promptly and professionally (Norton, Matthews, Barnes, Yaffe, & Brayne, 2014). Assessment of the patient’s fitness ought to include obtaining details concerning the person through informed patient and family members’ interrogations. The involvement of relatives while making assessments to identify comorbid medical conditions is essential. Furthermore, the involvement of other health and social service specialists (for instance, psychologists and caseworkers) or an interdisciplinary group is imperative to the determination of the extent of suitable care and the creation of the remedial plan. They may also help in determining whether there is a severe health concern over and above Alzheimer’s disease.

The primary care provider ought to seek information from the caregiver concerning any other treatment obtained previously. Major consideration has to be given to current prescriptions both specified and non-stipulated, which could deteriorate psychological, psychiatric, or behavioral practices associated with AD. All medical conditions and prescriptions ought to be ascertained, noted in the patient’s records, and incorporated into the most suitable plan of care. Illusion, or a heightened confusedness condition, is more widespread in people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease than in non-demented elderly individuals. AD acts as an urgent medical condition as it is normally a signal of a severe sickness, demanding wide-ranging evaluation to establish the core issues so that quick remedial practices can be undertaken (Norton et al., 2014). The medical practitioner ought to be considerate of behavioral changes as they may be a foundation for further assessment. It is crucial for relatives to monitor signs and indications that may show the occurrence of other comorbid conditions.

More than 81% of AD patients get some sort of behavioral indications, for example, anxiety, agitation, and tediousness through the progression of the disease (Kumar & Singh, 2015). Behavioral signs turn problematical when they are the source of significant anguish (for patient and caregiver), loss of practical capability, or risk of mutilation. Such concerns present the most difficult aspects of care issuance and often precipitate hospitalization. Nevertheless, careful assessment and management by family members could avoid the requirement for hospital care. Patients and their family members should provide the medical practitioner with an extent of behavioral signs that regularly change with time as there could be effective approaches to managing or dealing with such behaviors. The tackling of behavioral signs necessitates the development of early, proper, and personalized care and plans that ought to be repeatedly reviewed. The unexpected start of behavioral signs demands assessment for their causes, encompassing pain, cardiopulmonary illness, medical effects, and contagion.

Because Alzheimer’s disease is not treatable and gradually makes individuals incapable of tending to their requirements, the issuance of care has to be carefully tackled over the advancement of the illness. In the initial and controlled phases, adjustments of the living surroundings and lifestyle may increase patient safety and diminish caregiver burden (Kumar & Singh, 2015). Examples of such alterations include the establishment of basic practices and labeling of objects to prompt the patient. Relatives ought to be conscious of other health problems that could emerge with the development of AD including malnutrition and hygiene issues to mention a few.

Conclusion

Alzheimer’s disease denotes the most widespread dementia and has no identified cure. It is usually diagnosed in people over sixty-five years old although less-frequent early-inception of the disease might occur. Since AD is untreatable and chronic, the patient progressively relies on others (especially a partner or relatives) for help.

References

Karger, C. R. (2018). Emotional experience in patients with advanced Alzheimer’s disease from the perspective of families, professional caregivers, physicians, and scientists. Aging & Mental Health, 22(3), 316-322.

Kumar, A., & Singh, A. (2015). A review on Alzheimer’s disease pathophysiology and its management: An update. Pharmacological Reports, 67(2), 195-203.

Norton, S., Matthews, F. E., Barnes, D. E., Yaffe, K., & Brayne, C. (2014). Potential for primary prevention of Alzheimer’s disease: An analysis of population-based data. The Lancet Neurology, 13(8), 788-794.

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