The Effect of Alzheimer's on the Elderly

Topics: Alzheimer's disease, Sleep, Memory Pages: 6 (1612 words) Published: December 16, 2012
The Effect of Alzheimer’s on the Elderly

Senior English

Miranda Ormiston

1 Introduction
2 Body
a What is Alzheimer’s?
i Symptoms
1 Memory
2 Moods
3 Difficulty with everyday activities
4 Confusion
5 Suspicion of loved ones
ii Diagnosis
6 Mental Status Testing
7 Physical & Neurological exam
8 Brain imaging & Blood tests
b Treatments
9 Medications for memory loss
a Cholinesterase inhibitors
b Memantine
10 Treatments for behavioral changes
c Antidepressants
d Anxiolytics
e Antipsychotic
11 Treatments for changes in sleep patterns
f Tricyclic antidepressants
g Benzodiazepines
h “Sleeping pills”

c Living With Alzheimer’s
iv Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s
v Financial Matters
vi Medicare & Medicaid

3 Conclusion
d Analytical Summary
e Thesis Reworded
f Concluding Statement

Alzheimer’s is a disease that affects millions of people, and each year the number grows more exponentially. Approximately 5.4 million Americans now have Alzheimer's disease and by the year 2050, more than 15 million Americans could possibly be living with the disease, unless scientists or medical professionals develop new ideas to prevent, slow or cure it. (AHAF) Alzheimer’s is usually associated with old age but it can also be diagnosed in younger individuals. “Alzheimer's disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and the only cause of death among the top 10 in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.” (ALZ) This is considered to be one of the most heartbreaking diseases for a loved one to go through, because you’re basically watching them mentally fall apart often to the point when they don’t even remember who you are.

There are many different symptoms that go along with Alzheimer’s, but symptoms may differ from person to person depending on severity and other health issues. The most common, and one of the symptoms that are usually noticed first would be having difficulty remembering newly learned information. (ALZ) Mostly because, Alzheimer’s usually begins in the section of the brain that deals with learning information. As the disease progresses it is common to be disoriented, deeply confused, feel sudden suspicion of close family and friends, experience changes in normal behavior and have difficulty swallowing, speaking and even in some extreme cases, walking. In most cases the person experiencing this may find it hard to believe that they actually have a problem. It is more likely for a close family member, friend or caregiver to start to pick up on the signs of progressing dementia. Many people have trouble with memory but this does not necessarily mean that they have Alzheimer's. There are many different causes of memory loss, so it is important that you do not jump to conclusions and self diagnose. If yourself or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of Alzheimer’s or a related form of dementia, it is best to visit a doctor so the cause can be determined and diagnosed by a professional.

The earlier Alzheimer’s is diagnosed the better, for many reasons. It gives families and caregivers more time to plan for the future, an opportunity to participate in important decisions about care, living arrangements, financial and legal matters, time to choose a doctor they feel comfortable with and form a trust based relationship with him or her. And most of all, a better chance of benefiting from treatment given. There is no single test that can show whether a person has Alzheimer's.While physicians can almost always determine if a person has a form of dementia, it may be too difficult...
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