Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, a neurologic disease characterized by loss of mental ability severe enough to interfere with normal activities of daily living, lasting at least six months (Deirdre, Blanchfield, & Longe, 2006). At first Alzheimer’s disease will destroy neurons in parts of the brain that control memory. As these neurons stop functioning, the short-term memory will continue to deteriorate. Later the disease affects the cerebral cortex, mainly the area responsible for language and reasoning. These language skills are lost and the ability to make judgments is changed. The severity of these changes increase with progression of the disease. Eventually many other areas of the brain become involved, the brain regions involved shrink and lose function and you will most likely become bedridden, incontinent, helpless, and non-responsive (Deirdre, Blanchfield, & Longe, 2006). With your case, Mr. Speed, I would recommend secondary treatment, which would include prompt intervention to control the disease such as medications.
Because your disease is in the early stages, I would start you on Razadyne® as it is designed for treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. This drug may help delay or prevent symptoms from becoming worse (nia.nih.gov, 2014). I would also recommend regular monitoring by a neurologist, psychiatrist, and psychologist. I would like to address your interest in finding information and resources regarding Alzheimer’s disease. There are quite a few resources available for you to utilize. These would include organizations such as Alzheimer’s Association where a 24/7 help line is available. They are dedicated to researching Alzheimer’s disease and finding ways to reduce the risk of dementia. There are also websites available such as alzheimers.gov, brightfocus.org, and alzheimerdisease.com that I suggest you visit. You can also contact your primary care physician for information on how to control Alzheimer’s disease and he or she can also refer you to other health care professionals specializing in Alzheimer’s disease.
Depending on your cultural beliefs, treatment may differ. Some cultures may opt for seeking treatment within a long term care facility or seeking treatment while being cared for by family and/or close friends (alz.org, 2003). It is important to have a good understanding of cost for long term care. Long term care facilities can range from $3,293.00 to $6,965 per month (longtermcare.gov). Living with family also presents costs to be aware of. For instance, having an in-home health aide can range, on average, from $19.00 to $21.00 per hour (longtermcare.gov). Costs may vary depending on any extra charges that long term care facilities provide beyond the basic room, food, and housekeeping (longtermcare.gov). With your comprehension on the disease, our communication will be quite good; however, if a friend or family member presents language or comprehension barriers, that may present some difficulties in providing instructions for care. While this disease will present challenges, the information provided in this memo and the resources available will help to ease the transitioning of stages with Alzheimer’s disease.
CDC. (2014, March 5). Asthma and Allergies. Retrieved January 31, 2015, from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/asthma/OccAsthmaPrevention-primer.html Deirdre, E., Blanchfield, S., & Longe, J. L. (2006). Alzheimer’s Disease. In E. Deirdre, S. Blanchfield, & J. L. Longe, Alzheimer’s Disease (pp. 134-141). Detroit: Gale. longtermcare.gov. (n.d.). Costs of Care. Retrieved February 1, 2015, from US Department of Health and Human Services: http://longtermcare.gov/costs-how-to-pay/costs-of-care/ nia.nih.gov. (2014, January). Alzheimer’s Disease Medications Fact Sheet. Retrieved January 31, 2015, from National Institute on Aging: http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/alzheimers-disease-medications-fact-sheet#treatment