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Dementia Care Strategies Require Attention While Waiting For a Cure

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medications for dementia and alzheimer

With out a cure for Alzheimer’s… patients suffering from the disease must rely on professional dementia care. As well as medications… referred to as cholinesterase inhibitors to relieve symptoms.

The U.S. FDA approved three medications for people with … mild to moderate Alzheimer symptoms. They are … Razadyne, Exelon and Cognex.

A medication, for those with moderate to severe dementia (Namenda).

A medication that can be used in all Alzheimer’s stages (Aricept).

Alzheimer’s Disease Statistics

Some scientists suggest a genuine; worldwide Alzheimer’s epidemic has been taking place. The National Alzheimer’s Association 2011 statistics seem to indicate the persistent and widespread prevalence of a disease … for which research has yet to discover a cure:

  • Nearly 5.5 million U.S citizens have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. 200, 000 of these patients are under 65 years of age
  • One out of eight over age 65 have Alzheimer’s disease
  • Women are more likely to diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s, than men . This is simply because women live longer than men.
  • Almost 70 percent of dementia cases are diagnosed Alzheimer’s in Americans who are 70 years and older
  • If a cure for Alzheimer’s is not discovered by 2030… it is estimated that approximately 8 million people 65 and older.. Will develop Alzheimer’s disease. Because people born before 1964 (the baby boomer generation) will all be over 60 years old. This represents a 50 percent increase from the numbers currently reported.

Alzheimer’s life expectancy statistics show… that patients suffering from AD dementia … can live as long as 30 years following diagnosis of the disease. Or live less than five. Shortened life spans of Alzheimer’s patients are generally the result of vulnerability to an age-related illness… such as pneumonia or heart disease.

Until a cure for Alzheimer’s is found, it will be the fifth leading cause of death among people….Over the age of 65 in the world. And the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S…. behind cardiovascular disease, cancer and stroke  (Center for Disease Control).

More on Dementia Care Strategies require attention while waiting for a cure…

Person-Centered Dementia Care

Many health care providers treat an Alzheimer’s patient as a diagnosis. They overlook the individual. Many nursing homes are starting to integrate person-centered care. T.M. Kitwood’s theories of personhood and the depersonalization caused by dementia… person-centered dementia care emphasizes a holistic approach. This approach helps Alzheimer patients with the day-to-day problems of severe cognitive impairment.

The cure for Alzheimer’s does not appear to be imminent. Kitwood insists that we start viewing a person with moderate to advanced dementia as someone who is not … a vegetable, an object or a child, but a human being with the need to be loved and treated with dignity.

Dementia patients may seem:
Unaware of their surroundings
Behave irrationally
Lash out at those closest to them.

Kitwood insists even though patients with Alzheimer’s patient can no longer “connect” with reality…They still have a need to experience… respect, kindness and empathy.

Kitwood elaborates on this need. He discusses the meaning of “malignant social psychology”. This is an attitude of disinterest or callous manner… some caregivers interact with dementia patients.

young lady with older mom 420People caring for someone severely impaired may think that the patient… cannot hear, feel or think and behave as though they are like empty shells. Kitwood infers this kind of negligence greatly contributes to a patient’s disability. The caregiver conveys strong, non-verbal messages… that the patient feels.

Person-centered dementia care involves:

  • Approaching the person like a living, breathing individual. Do not act like the person cannot hear or feel your presence
  • Never talk to the patient in disrespectful or dehumanizing terms
  • All dementia patients should be addressed by their first names. In addition, caregivers should make it a point… to refer to past and present aspects of their patients’ lives. Doing this may help patients recall events, people and other enjoyable memories

Learn to be gentle and accommodating when:
Patients are irritable
Engage in repetitive behavior or speech
Refuse help from the caregiver with daily hygiene and eating routines.

The theory of person-centered therapy actually originated in the 1950s . Psychologist Carl Rogers introduced a radical new counseling method. This was designed for people who were suffering from… depression, neurosis and other non-psychotic mental illnesses. Like Kitwood’s theory, Rogers’ Person Centered Therapy focused on … treating people with empathy and compassion. This was to help the person find a true sense of self. Develop a person centered care profile for your family member.

Research concerning a cure for Alzheimer’s is ongoing and aggressive. Better medications and new insights into the origin of the disease … are discovered every year.

For the latest information on Alzheimer’s disease… the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease) provides:
Peer-reviewed articles

Research reports

Hypotheses about the genetics

Etiology

Epidemiology

Treatment of Alzheimer’s disease-related dementia.

Sources –

http://www.j-alz.com/about/

http://www.ahaf.org/alzheimers/treatment/common/

http://www.annalsoflongtermcare.com/article/3506

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9405258/New-Alzheimers-treatment-can-halt-symptoms-for-three-years-study.html

https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/bpb/27/11/27_11_1701/_article

http://www.alz.org/index.asp

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/lcod.htm

http://www.health.vic.gov.au/dementia/strategies/person-centred-care.htm

http://www.livingwithdementia.uk.com/file/published_papers_files/Personal%20Construct%20Psychology%20and%20Person%20Centred%20Care.pdf