For our paper we are here to learn about an interesting disease that many people around the world face day to day. Before discussing the history, we may want to know what it is exactly and the causes of it. So what is Alzheimer’s disease? To begin with, Alzheimer’s Disease is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior.
At first, people have a hard time remembering recent events, though they might easily recall things that happened years ago. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. As you may know there’s always a first, involving Alzheimer’s disease the first case was not reported until 190. A German psychiatrist, identified the first case in which he named after a fifty-year-old woman, Auguste D. He kept tabs on her case until she passed away in 1906. This is also the first case he first reported to the public about. Alzheimer later published his descriptions of several similar patients in 1909 case edition of his widely respected psychiatry textbook.
There are many factors introduced that influence when Alzheimer’s disease begins and how it progresses. Increasing age is a known risk factor for Alzheimer’s, every 5 years beyond age 65 the disease doubles. For all people of the age 85 and above, about one-third may have Alzheimer’s disease. A combination of genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors are the most common form of the disease. The importance of these factors in the risk of development Alzheimer’s may be different for everyone. At first, someone with Alzheimer’s disease may notice mild confusion and difficulty remembering.
Eventually, people with the disease may even forget important people in their lives and undergo dramatic personality changes. Some symptoms include memory loss, language problems, and unpredictable behavior. Early Alzheimer’s occurs between a person’s 30s and mid-60s and is very rare. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia among older adults, dementia is a group of brain disorders that cause the loss of intellectual and social skills. In Alzheimer’s disease, the brain cells degenerate and die, causing a steady decline in memory and mental function. The symptoms may vary on the person and the rate that is worsens. Their behavior may change such as aggression, agitation, difficulty with self care and irritability. Lastly, psychologically they may appear as depressed or paranoid because of the little knowledge they have of their environment and unfamiliar faces around them. Doctors use several methods and tools to help them diagnose a person to Alzheimer’s. They may ask the person about overall health and use of prescription, as well as taking many test like blood and urine to identify other possible causes of the problem. These test may be used more than once to be sure how information about how the person’s memory and other functions are changing over time.
A very useful and important fact to know is that Alzheimer’s disease is conclusively diagnosed only after death by examination of brain tissue in an autopsy. Current Alzheimer’s disease medications and management strategies may temporarily improve symptoms. There are two types of drugs are currently used to treat cognitive symptoms; Cholinesterase inhibitors can improve neuropsychiatric symptoms, such as agitation or depression. The second drug is Memantine, Memantine works cell communication network and slows the progression of symptoms with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease. This can sometimes help people with Alzheimer’s disease maximize function and maintain independence for a little while longer Because there’s no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, it’s important to seek supportive services and tap into your support network as early as possible but medications and management strategies may temporarily improve symptoms. The cost to help and take care of someone with Alzheimer’s disease is unbelievably, there are so many different treatments that test that are demanded to go through multiple times.
The estimated cost of caring for Americans with Alzheimer’s is $277 billion, excluding the caregiver which is needed around the clock. To break it down i’ll give you some background to where it all goes to; $186 billion is the cost to Medicare and $60 billion is for out-of-pocket costs. The cost is only going up, each year the amount skyrockets and makes it without any options for the family and patient, because of this people are looking for better and efficient ways to pay for all this such as applying for different payment plans. People with alzheimer’s are able to live at home but the living situation is strongly recommended to adapt a person with Alzheimer’s because it is an important part of the treatment plan. Making necessary changes within the home environment may not only decrease physical hazards, but also reduce the amount of stress that is placed upon both the caregiver and the care receiver. When assessing a home or apartment for someone suffering from Alzheimer’s, one of the most important things to consider is preventing access or use to areas or equipment that may harm them. There are many creative ways to make the home safe and friendly such as removing any hazard such as cleaning supplies, knives, and medications and putting them in a lock or out of easy reach. At all times it is important to have an emergency contact list in sight that way if there is an incident whoever is around knows who to call or if the diagnosed person is alone, it helps knowing that there is a number of list that they can call for help or reassurance. A total of 16 million Americans are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease. Caregivers do not have the option of dedicating their life to the patient because there’s no way financially that the cost would be covered.
There are many sacrifices being made such as making sure there’s food on the table, making sure there’s money for a doctor’s visit or having to take out money from their retirement funds in order to make sure the patient is being treated. Alzheimer’s caregivers are expected to cut back nearly 48% of their own expenses and after many different stories of the caretakers, they mentioned how they feel like they are dying inside because they work to keep their loved one in the home and are required to save all the money they make. On Top of this, it is a very high chance of being diagnosed with high blood pressure but even if the caretaker was diagnosed there wouldn’t be anyone to look over them and risk the loved one being taken away as well. After the research that I have been able to learn about, I hope to never go through this experience. If I was ever diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease I would be very scared and would try to do what I wanted to do my whole life in the little spand I had left to enjoy my last few moments having a good time before forgetting the ones I love. For the future I would also document everything I liked to do and all my favorite activities that way I wouldn’t lose myself as a person. My best friend would be a camera because that would be where I document videos and pictures as a reminder that before being diagnosed, I was a happy person with a huge heart to fill.
For my family, I would tell them to send me to a caretaker that way I wouldn’t be a burden to them throughout their daily routines. I wouldn’t force them to take me in their home because as you can recall from the research, there’s a lot of stress that brings to them such as maintaining a full time job, bills, and spending time with the children. The bills alone are a huge hassle and if there was ever a time that I was diagnosed, my second option would be leaving money for my family members who are willing to take me in with them and give them my savings that way I could help them a little, money wise. After research and reading stories about people’s experience and how they felt when being diagnosed, I’m glad I was able to grasp a better understanding because we never know when life can catch you slipping blind sided. I don’t wish being diagnosed on anyone, I can’t image going throughout the rest of my life not knowing who I was before.
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