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Health, Medicine, Nursing
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An Advice To A Family That Is Taking Care Of An Alzheimer's Patient (Coursework Sample)


The paper required to give advice as a medical PRACTITIONER to a family that is taking care of an ALZHEIMER's patient.

Alzheimer’s Student’ Name Institution Date Introduction Alzheimer’s is a disease that causes progressive nerve damage and death of brain cells which eventually lead to memory loss and cognitive impairment. The disease takes years to progress from mild to fatal and the average life expectancy is 10 years although this varies from person to person (Alzheimer’s, 2015). It mostly affects individuals of 60 years, but in some cases individuals are diagnosed with the disease as early as 40 years. At the last stages of Alzheimer’s, the patient is unable to function properly on their own and need full-time assistance. Stages of Alzheimer’s The disease can be broken down into three main progression stages, preclinical, mild cognitive impairment, and severe stage. In the preclinical stage is where the brain has been experiencing changes, but there are no physical symptoms. This stage can last up to 4 years. In the mild Alzheimer’s stage, a person is able to practice daily activities such as driving, working, and continue with their social life as normal. However, symptoms such as forgetfulness of common words, places, names of objects, and losing important items such as car keys begin to show. As time progresses, the patient is unable to coordinate tasks such as paying bills, frustration, and anger outbursts. They also have a hard time remembering names of family members, spouses, brothers, sisters, and children. Depression signs such as moodiness and withdrawal are also observed. In the severe stage, they are unable to move, hold conversations, and have difficulties in breathing. They are unable to walk, sit, swallow food and have a high risk of contracting pneumonia (Alzheimer’s, 2015).. Medication and Education Drugs administered do not treat the disease, but rather slows down and regulate symptoms caused by brain cells damage. Cholinesterase inhibitors is a class of medication that is administered to patients and is responsible for improving symptoms of cognitive impairment such as judgement, and confusion. Donepezil, Rivastigmate, and Galantamine are oral drugs administered to patients with mild and severe cases of the disease. They all slow down symptoms of cognitive impairments such as short term memory loss, but do not slow down the progression of the disease. In severe Alzheimer’s, memantine and donepezil are administered and they help in language, and reasoning. These medications however have side effects such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, loss of appetite, and dizziness (Gauthier et al., 2016). Caring for Alzheimer’s Patients Anger outbursts are common in patients with Alzheimer’s and the anger progresses as the disease progresses. Anger usually stems from discomfort, dizziness, confusion, boredom, and overstimulation (Kamkhagi et al., 2015) The family of the patient should seek to find out the root of the anger and find a way of treating the underlying issue. The family should also avoid reacting with violence towards the patient, and avoid physical contact during an outburst. They are encouraged to exit the room until the situation comes down. Displaying feelings of fear, anger, or distress further aggravates the patient. When communicating with an Alzheimer’s patient, the family is encouraged to avoid using words such as remember, reason, forget. They are encouraged to use short sentences that require a yes or no response with no long explanations from the patient. Phrasing questions in a general manner instead of specific way will help smoother conversations. For example, asking where they studied is a more specific question that should be phrased in a more general way like asking them to discuss about their education. Avoid bossing around the individual by telling them what they should do at that specific time. Regular tasks such as feeding and showering become difficult and it is up to the family to create a routine for these activities. They become anxious and frustrated with the realization that their mental capacity is declining (Kamkhagi et al., 2015). Creating pictures around the household could assist in their daily activities. Example marking their dresser with picture of how to pair items, and marking the dining area with directions of where to place the plate and pictures that illustrate what goes inside a cup. As the disease progresses, the patient will require assistance feeding and require assistance with cutlery. Connecting with Clients of Alzheimer’s The caregiver is able to communicate with the patient according to the stage and severity of the disease. During early stages, the patient is repetitive in their stories and conversations and the caregiver should listen calmly without losing interest. Full attention and participation from the caregiver encourag...
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