The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) reported this year that in 2006 Alzheimer's disease moved up one place to become the 6 th leading cause of death in the USA. 72,914 Americans died of the disease. While life expectancy for Americans increased to an average 78.1years, statistics showed that Alzheimer's disease was the only one of the 15 leading cause of death where death rates increased (age is one of the major risk factors for Alzheimer's).
When people get a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease they not only have to face living with the illness itself, they often begin to consider their death. Many ‘patients', and their families, wonder how they will die and start to ask health care workers for more information about end of life issues.
Statistics vary about the length of time people survive with Alzheimer's from diagnosis to death, but it is about 8 years. The cause of death varies, but is one of three ways;
from another medical condition such as heart disease or ...
As we come to terms with Mom’s failing lungs, my family soon may face decisions about procedures that could prolong her life. Many of these medical procedures, which were not available to generations before, leave me wondering whether I will know when the time will be right for Mom to die. Resources on End-of-Life Decisions As I try to think ahead to prepare for these decisions, I find myself seeking information from a variety of sources, ranging from friends who have experience in caregiving, books on end-of-life and spiritual issues, magazine articles, radio programs, and a wide variety of information available on the Internet. I recently read an essay from New Yorker staff writer Atul Gawande's new book Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance , which was published earlier in April. Dr. Gawande is a surgeon and professor at Harvard Medical School. In his essay “On Fighting,” Dr. Gawande discusses the medical and ethical dilemmas that doctors encounter in relation to ...
Research continues to show that these family members spend more
time on care and are more stressed than relatives of those with
other illnesses. A study, for example, by the Metlife Mature Market
Institute shows that caregivers of those with Alzheimers
disease or other dementias commit an average 47 hours per week to
personal care activities and other tasks, versus 33 hours by
caregivers of those with physical impairments. Activities of daily
living, which includes eating, bathing, dressing, and going to the
bathroom, demand additional time.
Caregivers of individuals with Alzheimers disease may find
caregiving less stressful if they learn how to best handle their
loved ones personal care needs. When caregivers face
roadblocks with these activities, they should explore possible
underlying problems in order to find solutions. For instance,
difficulty using silverware, a fear of being poisoned, or a dental
condition might make a person stop eating. Medical problems, an
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