Nursing Care and Understanding
of Alzheimer Disease
Loss of memory, forgetfulness, personal change, even death, are common related disorders caused by a disease called Dementia or better known to most people as Alzheimer's disease. This disease is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States in persons 65 and older. Alzheimer's disease is, named for the German neurologist Alois Alzheimer, who first recognized the disease in 1907; Alzheimer's disease is characterized by a progressive deterioration of mental functioning. Nursing plays a major role in the care for patients who have Alzheimer's disease during the three stages of the disease. The majority of Alzheimer's patients are cared for at home by nursing caregivers or in a nursing home facility. Impact on Today's World
Of the many illnesses know today, Alzheimer's has an effect not only on the patient but on the caregiver or nurse as well. Many journal articles, papers, and books discuss the impact on the role of the nurse and the Alzheimer's patient. These articles show that over time the impact of this disease puts the nurse out of his or her homeostasis. Through the process of the disease the ability to control and maintain ones self stability is somewhat overwhelming and can lead to depression of the nurse caring for the patient in most cases. Depression and frustration usually comes from the fact that the Alzheimer's patient's mental and physical health is gradually dwindling away, and the caregiver or nurse feels helpless. This helplessness comes from the fact that the nurse or caregiver is showing care, compassion, and using all the knowledge he or she has, yet the nurse sees little to no progress in the person because the disease process is taking over. "One caregiver described the disease as being a long journey in which the undeniable end is death, no fixed route, and no estimated time of departure" (Morton, 2003 p.262). Philosophy
Nursing is the art of...
References: Bren L. (2003 Jul-Aug). "Alzheimer 's: searching for a cure". FDA Consumer. 37(4):18-25.
Harris, D. (1990). Sociology of Aging. New York, NY. Harper & Row Press.
Martindale-Adams, J., Nichols, L., Burns, B., & Malone, C. (2002). Telephone support groups: A lifeline for isolated Alzheimers Disease caregivers. Alzheimer 's Care
Quarterly 2002, 3(2), 181-189.
Morton, L. (2003). Psychological journey of an Alzheimer 's caregiver. Alzheimer 's Care
Quarterly 2003, 4(4), 262-268.
Reisburg, B. & Harvey, R. (2002). Drug slows advanced Alzheimer 's disease.
New England Journal of Medicine, 348,1334.
Smith, G. B. (2002). Case management guideline: Alzheimer Disease and other
dementias. Nursing Case Management, 7(2), 77-84.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document