Monday, July 6, 2020

Living with Alzheimers Disease - Free Essay Example

According to Living with Alzheimers (2006) by the year 2050, there could be anywhere from 11 to 60 million people diagnosed with Alzheimers Disease. Alzheimers Disease is an increase in cell loss causing shrinking of the brain (Living with Alzheimers, 2006). There are no known cures at this time. Alzheimers Disease can have a massive impact on both the people that are diagnosed with it, the caregivers, and their families. Many people get confused in the association of dementia and Alzheimers Disease. Dementia is like a symptom and is not considered a disease although it can be diagnosed. Not everyone with dementia has Alzheimers Disease (Radford, J., 2018). Alzheimers is a medical diagnosis and can be split into three stages. The early stage is when the person still is mentally intact. They perform all their normal daily routines but are starting to experience some memory loss. They may forget names or words. Have trouble remembering names or places. They could be having trouble performing simple tasks. Feeling forgetful and misplacing things is normal at this stage (Alzheimers Association, 2018). The next stage is the middle stage. In this stage the progression is more apparent. The person might start forgetting their own personal history. Having more frequent outbursts or mood swings. They could have trouble recalling information. Other things with the body might start happening as well, like incont inence and changes in their sleep patterns (Alzheimers Association, 2018). The late stage is the last stage. By now significant changes are happening to cognition and personality. The person still speaks, but not remember the conversation or might not make sense. At this point they probably need daily assistance. They are confused on place or surroundings. They will become more and more confused and disoriented (Alzheimers Association, 2018). Not remembering parts of my life would be the most stressful part. I would think that the beginning stages when I would still feel like me but have trouble focusing on life or forgetting simple things that I would not normally forget would be frustrating. It would be embarrassing. Having my family or friends not fully understand why I do not remember something would be a big burden to keep to myself. Many people at the beginning stages of Alzheimers suffer from anger, fear, anxiety, and denial (Living with Alzheimers, 2006). I can see why they would feel this way. There would be so many changes going on within my own head that I would not be able to express. This would make me angry. I personally have had grandparents who at the beginning stages make up answers to questions because they know that they should know the answer but cannot find the words. I have also seen many answer questions vaguely so that not to draw attention to the fact that they do not know the answer or what words to use. The worst part, other than the initial discovery of a loved one having Alzheimers, would be the unknown. When my grandmother was diagnosed this was always my fear. I never knew each time that I would visit if that would be the last normal conversation with her. With Alzheimers, the person can change so rapidly. Those who have had a loved one get diagnosed with the disease may become depressed, angry, and scared as well (Living with Alzheimers, 2006). Another factor might be that the person recently diagnosed may have been the original caregiver to another person. This would put extra stress on the family. Now that family has two people to find or give care to. This would be both an emotional and financial obstacle. Catching the disease at the beginning stages is the most beneficial to the individual and family (Living with Alzheimers, 2006). The disease is found more in Africa compared to the United States, but African Americans are diagnosed more here than those not of color. In a roundabout way that may mean that there is something happening in the United States that is different than what is happening in Africa. It is thought that a persons genes contribute to the disease (Boyd Bee, 2015, p.431). Scientists are trying to find a link between Alzheimers Disease and people with lower education. It is possible that people who do not use their mind a lot are more at risk (Alzheimer Europe, 2015). Alzheimers Disease is cruel and relentless. Those who suffer from this disease are literally lost in their own minds. There are ways to cope. Keeping a daily journal of events to keep track and remind ones self of things that have happened. Also, it is beneficial for the family and caregiver to go through old memories with the person to try to keep them thinking about their past. Telling the stories might help them hold on to them longer. Staying active in their daily activities promotes thinking and personal well-being. Exercise of the body and also cognitive exercise is helpful. Games that promote thinking keeps the brain sharp (Living with Alzheimers, 2006). There is no cure for the disease but there are ways to slow it down. References Alzheimer Europe, (2015). Who is Affected? Retrieved October 11, 2018, from Alzheimers Association, (2018). Stages of Alzheimers. Retrieved October 11, 2018, from Boyd, D., Bee, H. (2015). Lifespan Development. (p.431). Boston: Pearson. Living with Alzheimers [Video file]. (2006). Retrieved October 11, 2018, from Radford, J., (2018). Alzheimers and Dementia: What is the Difference? Mayo Clinic. Retrieved October 11, 2018, from

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