FROM OUR EXPERTS
Top ten lists are "hot" these days. This week, one of great interest to all of us hit the headlines. It was bad news in the news. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its annual list of the leading causes of death in the United States. For years, we've watched Alzheimer's disease climb the ladder, but this year it took a significant step: it moved into position as the sixth leading cause of death; while up just one rung from the prior year, what is especially noteworthy is that Alzheimer's deaths increased while all other 14 of the top 15 leading cause of death decreased.
The U.S. statistics unveiled that Alzheimer's disease resulted in the deaths of 72,914 Americans in 2006. Let me repeat that: 72,914 deaths. The rate knocked diabetes out of sixth position. Deaths from influenza and pneumonia dropped the sharpest from the previous year.
At the same time, the agency noted that life expectancy for Americans is at an all-time high...
Giving care to people who are dying and who also have early or mid stage Alzheimer's is easier if you are aware of a number of difficulties that cognitive impairment has on their experience and behavior. Alzheimer's does not make death any easier or more difficult for caregivers. As your loved one enters the last weeks and days of their life there is a lot to contend with. Sorrow, anticipatory bereavement and sometimes pleasure when an interaction/time spent remind you of the loss to come. I have put together some information that has been helpful to me that may be useful to you.
As well as being a symptom of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, confusion is also a symptom of physical conditions such as poor oxygen levels, common for example in heart and lung disease. High levels of chemicals poisonous to the body, for example, high urea and creatinine common in kidney disease and in diseases of the brain such as tumors, may can also cause confusion....
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...
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