Understanding Alzheimer's Disease | Free Essay Example

Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease

Words: 1222
Topic: Health & Medicine
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Introduction

Dementia is an ailment that occurs mainly as a result of brain malfunctioning. In turn, memory shortage is likely to occur as a result of ageing. However, excessive memory loss is not a normal situation and leads to the Alzheimer’s disease. Apart from Alzheimer’s dementia, there are other types of dementia namely mixed and vascular dementia (Murray, 2012).

Besides these diseases, Alzheimer’s disease remains the most frequent illness suffered by many people in their old ages. In most cases, when Alzheimer’s disease occurs the brain is affected first since the patient tends to suffer from the loss of memory.

Age of Onset

Different changes are duly experienced in different ways while growing older. The ageing changes especially when one is over 40 years are both mental and physical. In most cases, occurrences like physical weakness, growth of grey hair and a short memory are expected.

Although these factors are common in ageing, excessive forgetfulness in this stage could hardly result from getting old but a lead to the Alzheimer’s disease (Gauthier, 2009). Despite the assertion, the disease is apparently not experienced at old age only. People aged 65 years and below have been reported to suffer from the Alzheimer type of disease. Any patient below 65 years who has this disease is said to experience the early onset. Otherwise, the disease is supposed to be common amongst individuals aged 65 years and above.

Signs and Symptoms

There are certain signs that are easily noted which can make Alzheimer dementia predictable. One of these signs includes funny behavior whereby a person becomes negligent and tends to abandon his/her normal duties. Forgetfulness is another sign, which can signify the emergence of dementia.

The kind of forgetfulness is far different from the short memory at old age (Barlow & Durand, 2011). Dementia forgetfulness includes a hasty loss of memory, which is far from normal when ageing. Unusual carelessness that results into accusations to mates is another sign. Being unable to keep things in an orderly manner and the failure to retrieve things is another directive to the disease. Most dementia ailing people are also impatient. They are unable to take it easy with their colleagues and become easily annoyed with small things.

When engaged in a conversation, the Alzheimer type of dementia suffering patient is unable to keep up with the topic offered for talks. Concentration becomes a problem given that they lack words to express themselves. Due to that kind of problem, they opt to talk less. Being unreasonable becomes a problem given the fact that the person is not able to think in a proper way.

On the other hand, failure to adhere to the set up rules in the workplace while misjudging issues and being time unconscious appear to the other symptoms. Lastly, mood swings in a person can also be an indication of Alzheimer dementia (Barlow & Durand, 2011). In this case, the patient gets easily upset with no justifiable reason behind being upset.

Stages

The Alzheimer’s disease has got its early stages before it fully develops in a person. That phase of dementia is known as “Mild Cognitive Impairment”. While in that phase of dementia, a person is still able to perform his/her normal daily routines unlike the developed dementia person who is dependent on others.

Early Alzheimer dementia in some people ends up developing fully while others stay rooted in the mild stage. In other cases, some people also get back to normal on their own (Murray, 2012). However, the situation depends on the capacity at which the ailment has interfered with the brain.

Risk factors

The most common risk factor for Alzheimer’s is the age. The more a person ages, the higher the risk of getting Alzheimer’s. Apart from the age factor, repetitive histories of psychological problems lead to the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. A habit that subjects the heart into risks like smoking also subjects a person to the risk of getting Alzheimer’s. Physical exercise could be recommended as a health factor to be considered in order for the brain to relax.

In addition to that, the mind is also supposed to be put to rest to avoid too much straining (Gauthier, 2009). The early dementia is another threat to the Alzheimer’s disease given the fact that some of the symptoms get worse to the next level at this stage. Most people with the early dementia (Mild cognitive impairment) are likely to get the Alzheimer’s disease.

As a matter of fact, this occurs due to memory loss that occurs slightly which eventually deteriorates. Dementia can also be hereditary as discovered by researchers. A patient may inherit the disease from the parental lineage.

Diagnostic Criteria and Nursing Assessment

Alzheimer’s disease can be managed in different ways. The surrounding of a dementia person should be lively to ensure that the mind is at least engaged. A group or friends’ company is preferable since the mind is engaged in different conversations, which help jog the mind. Seeking medical attention can also help with management of the dementia problem. The disease could bring about certain problems that can be managed clinically.

Having sleepless nights is a problem that can be handled by a therapist to avoid mind straining. The necessity to have mind rest is commendable to avoid complete memory loss especially if dementia is in its early stages. Engaging in communication also helps a lot (Ali, 2012). When the thinking capacity begins to diminish, a dementia patient can maintain the remaining part of the memory by engaging in conversations.

Interventions

People with dementia are better handled naturally. While engaging them in physical activities to keep them healthy, dementia patients should also be encouraged have a lot of rest. In order to help them recall past events and people, engaging them in art works such as sketching assists in distracting their minds and enable them interact and express themselves.

When diagnosed with dementia, a patient could be stressed up with the condition at hand; therefore melodies can help in coping with the mood swings or even keeping up their spirits.

Other considerations

While communicating, the ability to recollect words becomes quite easier. Conversations also could bring about past events that can assist the patient to recall the past happenings. Observing health matters is also a requirement. In fact, keeping fit by engaging in physical exercises may help keep the patient relaxed and fresh.

Feeding habits alongside diets should also be put into consideration (Ali, 2012). Emotional support from close people like family members is healthy to a dementia person. Uch support encourages the person to deal with the disease as well as accepting the situation brought about by the disease. Once diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, the use of drugs such as alcohol and cigarettes should be highly avoided.

Conclusion

While managing Alzheimer’s disease, caretakers play an important role in conveying information about the patient. They are the first to note when there is behavioral change or functional loss, which is an indication of the presence of Alzheimer’s disease.

Absconding regular responsibilities, which gradually leads to total failure of performance of the same duties; these can easily be noted by the caretakers or close relatives. Clinical players also contribute to the identification of the presence of the disease. The condition occurs when the patients cannot cope up with the scheduled treatments.

References

Ali, N. (2012). Understanding Alzheimer’s: An introduction for patients and caregivers. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.

Barlow, D. & Durand, M. (2011). Abnormal psychology: An integrated approach. San Diego, CA: Granite Hill Publishers.

Gauthier, S. (2009). Clinical diagnosis and management of Alzheimer’s disease. New York, NY: CRC Press.

Murray, F. (2012). Minimizing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. New York, NY: Algora Publishing.