“The 6th leading cause of death in 2010 was Alzheimer’s.” (Facts and figures, 2) “Five point three million people are presently living with the disease” (Facts and figures, 2), and they aren’t able to survive on their own; much help is necessary. Not only is the patient affected, but the rest of the family is involved too. Learning to care for someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s can be very emotional, provoke many questions and unexpected circumstances, along with questioning and denial. “Alzheimer's is a brain disease that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior” as quoted by the Alzheimer’s Association (1). Alzheimer's disease is characterized by a build-up of proteins in the brain. The build-up manifests in two ways: Plaques Plaques – deposits of the protein beta-amyloid that accumulate in the spaces between nerve cells and Tangles – deposits of the protein tau that accumulate inside of nerve cells. Scientists are still studying how plaques and tangles are related to Alzheimer’s disease. (Alzheimer’s Association, 5) This is not a typical disease. Not everyone who is old has or will have this disease. This awful disease is very hard to watch as the diagnosed person slowly begins to lose their self being.
Life drastically changes when a family member or loved one is diagnosed with this disease. Many different emotions run through the family with varying levels of comprehension. It is extremely important to get the appropriate emotional support through counseling, support groups, or other family members; this is vital! “The caregivers tend to feel isolated, and they tend to suffer from grief or loss as the person they are caring for changes.” (FCA, 1) Taking periodic breaks from care giving is necessary to the health of everyone. It is critical to speak with your physician if care giving causes depression or anxiety. This is very common. The stress of care giving causes the care giver to break down... [continues]
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