Dementia: Alzheimer's Disease and Person

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Imagine waking up and not knowing the person lying next to you. Imagine waking up and not knowing your own name, your birthday, or you age. Imagine having to look at your family and ask them who they are, or be reminded by flipping through a photo album. Imagine going for an evening stroll and getting lost, even though you are only a block away from your house. Imagine seeing your loved one not remember you. Imagine visiting them as often as you can, and every time having to remind them who you are, and how you affected their life. This is known as a disease call dementia. Dementia disease is very hard for the patient themselves, but often times harder for the family. Alzheimer disease is a form of dementia, and makes daily living very difficult. Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disease. Brain cells that control intellectual and social functions are damaged. Memory, thinking, reasoning, judgment, language, behavior mood, and personality are affected. The person has problems with work and everyday functions. Problems with family and social relationships occur. There is a steady decline in memory and mental function. The disease is a gradual onset. It gets worse and worse over three to twenty years. Alzheimer’s disease occurs in both men and women. Some people in their forty’s and fifty’s have Alzheimer’s. However, it usually occurs after the age of sixty-five. It is often diagnosed around the age of eighty. The cause is still unknown. The classic sign of AD is gradual loss of short-term memory. Problems with complex tasks appear first. The person has problems using the phone, driving, managing money, planning meals, and working. Over time, problems occur with simple tasks. These include bathing, dressing, eating, using the toilet, and walking. Persons with Alzheimer’s are not oriented to person, time, and place. They may wander away and not find their way back. Wandering may be by foot, car, bicycle or other means. Theymay be with you one moment and gone the...
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