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 ...
Alzheimer’s (AHLZ-high-merz) disease is a progressive brain disorder that gradually destroys a person’s memory and ability to learn, reason, make judgments, communicate and carry out daily activities. As Alzheimer’s progresses, individuals may also experience changes in personality and behavior, such as anxiety, suspiciousness or agitation, as well as delusions or hallucinations. In late stages of the disease, individuals need help with dressing, personal hygiene, eating and other basic functions. People with Alzheimer’s die an average of eight years after first experiencing symptoms, but the duration of the disease can vary from three to 20 years. Although there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, new treatments are on the horizon as a result of accelerating insight into the biology of the disease. Research has also shown that effective care and support can improve quality of life for individuals and their caregivers over the course of the disease from...
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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