Dementia: Alzheimer’s Disease and People

Isabel Ramirez Comp105 Mrs. Doonan 11 December 2012 Dementia affecting the lives of many Sometimes the word Dementia can be quite scary to hear and quite frankly it is pretty scary to hear. Many people don’t really take the time to stop and realize that it might be something that can be life threating and without them even knowing they might already be having some of the early symptoms. There is no such thing as going in to the doctor to early and getting checked out for dementia.

Once someone gets dementia there is no way on turning back and the best they can do it getting treatment. Approximately every sixty eight seconds someone in America will develop dementia, some even without them knowing it. Dementia is something that no one wants to know that they have because of the dramatic life changes that if will have in someone’s life. Dementia having many effects on older people like having to get treatment and the many symptoms they go through can be very overwhelming.

Many people know that dementia is a disease in which the memory is affected, but that’s not all dementia is. Every sixty eight seconds someone in America develops dementia. (AHAF) Dementia actually means loss of mentation and thinking. (Fisher) It is a disease that degenerates the brain which affects the memory. (AHAF) Dementia is a progressive disease that has a big impact not only on the person that is diagnosed with dementia but also their family and friends that are around. Perry) Many people describe dementias symptoms with loss of memory, judgment, language even motor skills, meaning that many people can’t do a lot of their daily activities normally by themselves. (Fisher) Caring for someone with dementia can be extremely difficult and have a lot of emotional stress. Dementia is a disease the many describe as a disease that eats someone’s brain slowly causing that person to start forgetting things. (AHAF) Dementia isn’t a disease that is on its own it has many forms to which it attacks a person. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Fisher) Dementia having many shapes and sizes can be hard on older people. Dementia does have many shapes and sizes because there is different types of dementias in which can affect the person slowly or really fast. The forms of dementia are classified by the area of the brain that gets affected and the degree of progression. (Westerby) Since there are so many different forms of dementia, drugs might only be available for some of them. Yes, there is many kind of dementia but the two most common forms are Parkton’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Fisher) About sixty percent of the people that develop Alzheimer’s, fifteen through thirty percent develop vascular dementia, four through twenty percent develop lewy body and two percent develop frontal temporal dementia. Mainly all forms of dementia are progressive except Vascular Dementia. Alzheimer’s mainly affects older people and mainly women get this kind of dementia. Lewy Body dementia mainly affects older people. Vascular dementia mainly affects people that have diabetes. Frontal Temporal dementia affects mostly the people that are under sixty five and mainly men. Elkins) Some people might get mixed dementia where there might be one or more cases of dementia combined together. (Perry) One of the hardest things of dementia is the symptoms they have and later finding out someone has dementia through diagnostic can be a very tragic moment. The earliest symptom is memory loss with that also not being able to think right can really confuse a person. (Fisher) Patients might have a hard time arranging plans and which ends up leading to the major memory loss. Movement of everyday became more difficult. Perry) That’s why trying to diagnose dementia soon is very important, the sooner is diagnosed the sooner medication can be given out which can help from it progressing really fast. Cognitive test are necessary in being able to decide whether dementia is there or not. (Westerby) There is a physical exam done to help identify why they have dementia. Another thing they really take in consideration is history of mental or behavioral symptoms. (AHAF) There is an assessment that is done which is called Mini Mental State Examination.

There is so many ways that people can get tested and find out pretty soon, like getting lab test done is a fast and effective way. (Perry) Out of all of them the most effective way and proven to be one hundred percent effective is brain autopsy. (AHAF) Finding out which stage of dementia you have might be hard because of the many ad different types of dementia there are. That is why it is very important to that if someone has any of the symptoms to get them checked out because the faster you get diagnosed the more likely you will be able to get some medication that will slow down the progression. Perry) The risk factors that can give you dementia or bring along can be too much to handle for someone at any age. Even though dementia can happen at any time of life, it has a dramatic increase as age increases too. (Perry) There are two big risk factors that really play a big role when getting dementia, which are age and genetics. Many people can get dementia because it is in their genes and past generations in their family have gotten so it is more likely that they get it. Approximately five percent of Americans between the ages of sixty five and seventy four get dementia. AHAF) People who smoke, have hypertension, high cholesterol, and are obese have a greater risk in getting dementia. People who have Parkinson’s disease and have had a stroke are also greater at risk. (Westerby) People with dementia might be seeing things that aren’t really there which can be very dangerous for them to be alone in their own home. (Fisher) About thirty six and a half percent of people with dementia live in a home care facility the other sixty three and a half percent are taken care of in their own home by some family member. Westerby) When the dementia is advanced people become dependent for everything with their care. (Fisher) Mobility gets harder so there could be a greater risk of falls. There might also be a great loss of appetite and a dramatic change in their weight. (Perry) As often as possible try drawling things for the patient that way they can visualize the things better and they might remember them more. (Elkins) Asking people with dementia direct questions really stresses them out and they fell like they are put in the stop.

So yes it is a really serious disease and in most cases it is too much for someone to handle at any age. Sometimes the treatments are not always enough when trying to get rid of dementia and the results can be pretty fatal. It is better to keep the person in their own home. That way they could keep their daily routine and they can remember where their things are located at. Moving someone out of their home when they are very confused already isn’t going to help them out much. (Perry) When diagnosed it is recommended for the patient and the family to get ongoing support.

This way the family can know of ways to help the person and also the patient knows the truth of dementia. (Westerby) Alzheimer’s is terminal and had no known cure. (AHAF) No Treatment yet recognized, but one big risk factor is diabetes and hypertension. (Perry) The average time of life they have would range from five though twenty years. (Fisher) The three year survival rate for vascular dementia for people over the age of eighty five is sixty seven percent. For people who develop Alzheimer’s after a stroke there is a thirty nine percent survival rate.

People with Alzheimer’s in general have a forty three survival rate. (Perry) Out of all the causes of death infection is the most common. (Fisher) Yes, Dementia is very hard and a lot to handle for older people, there isn’t a known treatment that is for sure going to get rid of the dementia someone has and the symptoms can be very frustrating. That’s why having the help of family members and friends that are around the person is very necessary to be able to live with a disease that eats your brain a little more each day causing that person to forget things from their past.

It is a scary disease that no one wishes to ever get, but once someone has it there is no way back. As soon as they start to notice some of the symptoms it is better to go get themselves checked that why there can be some medication that can help its progression. Being able to detect it early improve the quality of life and the lifelong out comes the patient has for the rest of their lives. Always keep in mind this is a disease that attacks someone in the America every sixty eight seconds, many without even knowing.

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