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Alzheimers Disease

Alzheimers disease is a degenerative neurological disorder that is progressive and irreversible. The causes
of this disease are not fully understood however the disease occurs due to death of brain cells causing memory
loss and deterioration in thinking ability. The disease affects persons behaviour, mood, emotions and ability to
carry out activities of daily living. As the brain cells die, there is significant total brain shrinkage causing disease
progression.
Although the said disease may develop at an early onset, meaning the disease appears on a person with
younger age than usual; it still largely strikes or affects the OLDER populations.
Alzheimers disease has three stages wherein each stage poses unique therapeutic interventions in order
to enjoy and maintain ones quality of life. At EARLY STAGE the person experiences mild impairment or became
forgetful and unable to communicate well. The mild impairment continues to deteriorate in MIDDLE STAGE (the
longest stage). The person on this stage needs help in carrying out activities of daily living. Full support from
families and caregiver is greatly needed in this stage. Decrease mental ability and unable to communicate verbally
are seen in the LATE STAGE. To provide maximum health and comfort are the goals of care for the person and
needs to be supervised and monitored in a health care facility. On the very late stage of Alzheimers disease the
focus of care will be on persons quality of life and comfort rather than treating the disease itself.
The signs and symptoms can be diagnosed at any stage of Alzheimers disease. Monitoring of its
progression after its initial diagnosis is very essential for it directs as to what plan of care should be given. However
the disease affects each individual differently. The signs and symptoms, duration and progression vary from person
to person including the therapeutic intervention.
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The signs and symptoms involve a cognitive or behavioral symptom that shows a decline in the
patients ability to function and perform usual activities. (from guidelines jointly produced by the
National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimers Association)
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Inability to absorb and remember new information are deteriorated.


Repetitive questions or conversations.
Getting lost on a familiar route.
Misplacing personal belongings.
Defective reasoning and judgement.
Inability to manage finances.
Poor decision making ability.
impaired Visual and spatial abilities.
Inability to recognizeobjects faces.
Impaired speaking, reading, writing
Speech, spelling and writing errors.
Difficulty thinking of common words while speaking.
Changes in personality and behaviour.
Loss of empathy
Obsessive, compulsive or socially unacceptable behaviour.

Medical News Today. What is Alzheimers Disease? Causes, Symptoms and Treatment. July 34,

2009; authored by Marcus MacGill.

In order for a person to be diagnosed of having Alzheimers disease, progressive memory loss and an
impairment must be present that interfere with patients performance on activities of daily living.
Alzheimers Disease has no known cure because the death and destruction of brain cells or neurons can
never be reversed or halted. However the disease can be prevented from occurring according to a research done
by a Neurologist in the University of California. A cocoa extract has found to prevent Alzheimers disease in older
adults for it may reduce or halt the damage to nerve pathways thus stopping ones cognition from declining.
(Published on a Journal about Stem Cell Research and Therapy on April 2014)
National plan to address Alzheimers disease of America made Alzheimers Disease as their countrys
medical priority. Maybe because majority of their population is composed of older adults (inverted pyramid).
Thats why it is really necessary to create a plan or program regarding this disease because it burdens not only the
diagnosed person but even his/her family and loved ones.

Alzheimers disease burdens an increase number of our nations


elders and their families, and it is essential that we confront the
challenge it poses to our Public Health
President Obama. January 2011. National Alzheimers Project
Act(NAPA) into Law

Aside from aiming to improve research on how to prevent and treat the disease, it also plans to include
means to present interventions such as to enhance care quality and efficiency, expand support for people with
alzheimers disease and their families and lastly to enhance public awareness and engagement.
Stigma about Alzheimers Disease might hurt a person having the disease and also their families.
Therefore as a competent health care provider, we may help reduce that unfair thoughts and negative beliefs
about the said disease.

These are some ways we can make in order to help reduce stigma (false belief):
Learn the Facts. Let us share to others our knowledge about alzheimers disease for
them to have a better understanding about it.
Dont make assumptions. Always remember that the disease progression occurs
differently from an affected person to the other.
Watch your language. Telling jokes about the disease is a no no. It must be dealt
seriously.

Treat people with respect and dignity.


Be a friend
Speak up! Share through media the truth about the disease because media is also an
effective medium for health education.
Alzheimer Society Canada, Jan 1, 2014, taken from an
article about Alzheimers disease, Stigma- be a stigma buster

Caring for a person with alzheimers disease can have physical, emotional and financial cost. Therefore being wellinformed about the disease process is very important for it serves as a strategy on dealing with it.
The impact of the disease will not just focused on the affected person but it greatly strikes also their
families, friends and their loved ones. The people who are closed to them especially their family assumes the as
their primary caregiver who supports the affected person not only financially but also emotionally and
psychologically. Since the familys attention will focused more on the member having the Alzheimers disease,
some member of the family may feel neglected and some may feel burdened and needs to sacrifice in taking over
to accomplish the household chores and etc. (Alzheimer Society Canada, October 04, 2012, taken from an article
about Alzheimers disease- Impact of the disease)
The family members must learn how to use the present situation for them to know more each other, to
deepen each others relationship, and to strengthen each others weaknesses. That amidst that difficult
circumstance they will find themselves not just taking good care of their affected family member with unity but
also showing love and care to one other. Make that situation a privilege to establish more the family bond.
References:
Alzheimer Society Canada. Jan 1, 2014. Alzheimers disease, Stigma- be a stigma buster.
Alzheimer Society Canada. October 04, 2012. Alzheimers disease- Impact of the disease
President Obama. January 2011. National Alzheimers Project Act (NAPA) into Law
Medical News Today. What is Alzheimers Disease? Causes, Symptoms and Treatment. July 34, 2009; authored by
Marcus MacGill.
National Alzheimers Association. What is Alzheimers?
National Institute of Aging. Alzheimers Disease Fact sheer. Area of research. Published on September 2012
Alzheimer Society Canada. October 4, 2012. About Dementia. Stages of Alzheimers Disease.