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 ...
Alternative Names Senile dementia - Alzheimer's type (SDAT); SDAT Treatment Unfortunately, there is no cure for AD. The goals in treating AD are to: Slow the progression of the disease (although this is difficult to do) Manage behavior problems, confusion, sleep problems, and agitation Modify the home environment Support family members and other caregivers DRUG TREATMENT Most drugs used to treat Alzheimer's are aimed at slowing the rate at which symptoms become worse. The benefit from these drugs is often small, and patients and their families may not always notice much of a change. Patients and caregivers should ask their doctors the following questions about whether and when to use these drugs: What are the potential side effects of the medicine and are they worth the risk, given that there will likely be only a small change in behavior or function? When is the best time, if any, to use these drugs in the course of Alzheimer's disease? Two types of medicine are available: Donepezil (Aricept), riv...
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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