Understanding Alzheimer’s and Its Effect on Elderly Care

elderly careAlzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. There is not a cure for the disease, and it becomes worse as time progresses. Alzheimer’s eventually leads to a person’s death. Although doctors frequently diagnose Alzheimer’s in patients over the age of 65, early onset of the disease can occur before a person reaches that age. Over 26 million people globally are affected by the disease, and experts have predicted that at the current rate of cases being diagnosed, by 2050 1 in 85 people worldwide will have the disease. Alzheimer’s greatly affects elderly care services now, and it will continue to do so in the future.

Elderly Care Services for Patients with Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s affects each individual differently, making caring for a patient with Alzheimer’s difficult. However, there are several common symptoms. Doctors often mistake the symptoms that patients exhibit in the beginning to be related to age, or the result of excessive stress in the person’s life.

The most common symptom shown in the early stages is the inability to remember current events. If the physician suspects a person of having Alzheimer’s, the physician will perform a battery of tests to evaluate the person’s ability to think and their behavior. Sometimes a brain scan may be completed, as well as an examination of the tissue in the brain.

As Alzheimer’s continues to progress, other symptoms will begin to appear. These symptoms are:

  • Long term memory loss
  • Aggression
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Mood swings

The patient will also begin to withdraw and stop interacting with family and friends. Patients will lose bodily functions, and the patient eventually succumbs to the disease. Because Alzheimer’s affects patients differently it is difficult to predict how the disease will affect a certain individual. When Alzheimer’s symptoms are noticed, you may decide that home elderly care is needed.

The following is a poem that summarizes how one patient feels as they live with Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s Request

Do not ask me to remember, don’t try to make me understand.

Let me rest and know you’re with me, kiss my check and hold my hand.

I’m confused beyond your concept, I’m sad and sick and lost.

All I know is that I need you, to be with me at all cost.

Do not lose your patience with me, do not scold or curse or cry.

I can’t help the way I’m acting, I can’t be different though I try.

Just remember that I need you, that the best of me is gone.

Please don’t fail to stand beside me, love me ‘til my life is gone.

-Author Unknown

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