Alzheimer's Effects on the Family

Topics: Alzheimer's disease, Caregiver, Family Pages: 17 (4971 words) Published: April 9, 2013
Dealing With Alzheimer’s
Shelby Leenders

Table Of Content
Title page| 1|
Table of contents| 2|
Introduction| 3|
Review of literature| 5|
Methodology| 12|
Discussion| 13|
Conclusion| 16|
Appendix| 17|
References| |


“You never realized what you’ve had until you’ve lost it.” People who develop Alzheimer’s disease begin to forget things. Some may have a phase where they forget big parts of their life for days at a time. You start to realize how you have to live everyday to its fullest and enjoy life when you are diagnosed with this disease or even just thinking about it. Alzheimer’s is the fourth leading cause of death in Canada. This disease upends lives of caregivers and loved ones almost as much as it does the person with Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and is mostly found among elderly people. This disease is irreversible. Right now, 35 million people worldwide have Alzheimer’s. Some symptoms are forgetfulness and loss of mental abilities. In 2008, the standardized mortality rates for Alzheimer’s increased 8% from 2007 and suicide rates went up to 2% (Statistics Canada, 2008, Para. 2). There is a lot of medical research being preformed all around the world trying to find a cure for this disease but so far there isn’t anything that will cure it fully.

The intentions of this report are to discuss how a family reacts to the diagnosis of the Alzheimer’s disease. More specifically, it will focus on how a family should support and care for the member and how the family will be affected when this member is diagnosed. Some limitations to this report may be that it can be hard to find general information and statistics because obviously every family is different and will react differently. Other than that there should not be any other limitations when researching for this report. The main research question for this report is if Alzheimer’s brings family together or tears them apart.

Review of Literature
What is Alzheimer’s?
“Alzheimer’s is a progressive, degenerative and ultimately fatal disease, it is cruel, and it is a killer. It kills by insidiously clogging and destroying the most vital of organs – the brain, In fact, it is one of the surest killers we know of, if you develop Alzheimer’s we can say with absolute certainty that you will die with it or from it.” (Alzheimer’s challenges, 2010, para. 6). Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in America (Alzheimer’s challenges, 2010, para. 6). “Dr. Alois Alzheimer, a German psychiatrist and neuropathologist is credited with identifying the first published case of ‘Presenile dementia’ in 1907, a condition that is now called Alzheimer’s disease.” (Alzheimer’s disease & caregiving, 2012, Para. 3). There is an estimated 5,3 million people who have been diagnosed with this disease and an estimated 11 million caregivers in Canada (Alzheimer’s challenges, 2010, para. 1). Because of the baby boom generation, if there isn’t a change in the treatment for Alzheimer’s an estimate 10 million people in Canada may develop it. This also means that millions more lives will be upended because of the emotionally, physically and financially draining toll of caring for them (Alzheimer’s challenges, 2010, para. 3). Alzheimer’s is the most common form of Dementia in older adults; it is a disease and not a normal part of aging. Loss of memory is usually the first sign (Alzheimer’s disease & caregiving, 2012, Para. 1). The words “Alzheimer’s” and “Dementia” are often used interchangeably, but they are in fact very different (Alzheimer’s disease & caregiving, 2012, Para. 4). Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease caused by damage to the brain cells (Effects of Alzheimer’s disease on the family, 2011, para.1), This causes abnormal changes is the brain mainly affecting memory (Alzheimer’s disease & caregiving, 2012, Para. 1). “As this disease progresses, the loss of...

References: 1. Alzheimer’s-Frequently asked questions. (2011). Retrieved April 17, 2012, from
2. Marcy Brinkley. (May 2, 2011). Effects of Alzheimer’s disease on the family. Retrieved on April 17, 2012 from
3. Laura N. Gitlin. (November 12, 2003). Maintenance of effects of the home environmental skill-building program for family caregivers and individual with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. The Journals of Gerontology. Retrieved on April 17, 2012 from
4. J.C, Sulzenko. (September 20, 2011). Alzheimer’s effects on the whole family. Toronto sun. Retrieved on April 17, 2012 from
5. Family Caregiver Alliance. (2012). Alzheimer’s disease & caregiving. Family Caregiver Alliance. Retrieved May 3, 2012 from
6. House energy and Commerce. (2010/12/09). Alzheimer’s Challenges. Middle search plus. Retrieved on December 9, 2010 from
7. (Brown, S). (2010/09/26) Proactive attitude helps one woman fend off Alzheimer’s effects. Canadian points of view reference centre. Retrieved on March 18, 2012 from
8. Heris interactive. (2011). MetLife foundation Alzheimer’s survey. Retrieved June 9,2012, from
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