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Browser Title: Life Beyond Alzheimer's Page Title: Alzheimers is not the end. Meta Keywords: Alzheimer's, disease, caregiver, myths, facts, senior, adult, care, doctor, assisted, living, home Meta Description: You may have a loved with Alzheimer's Disease, but that isn't the end for that person. Here we go into what happens after the diagnosis, and what to expect. Content:

There is life to Alzheimer's.


Alzheimer's is a long battle that affects a lot of people, not just the patient himself. It is a disease of the brain. In 1906, Alois Alzheimer, a German doctor, presented the effects of this disease. A female patient was observed up until her death. The doctor then asked for an autopsy of the patient and has discovered the disease. More discoveries turned up 100 years after the findings were first published. * A progressive and fatal brain disease, Alzheimer's affects about 5.3 million Americans. Memory loss and cognitive and behavioural problems are caused by death neurons. It can change a person's life. It becomes fatal as it progresses. In the US, it is named as the 7th leading cause of death. * Dementia, a disorder that causes memory loss and reduced intellectual processes that affects daily life, is where Alzheimer's stems from. 50-80% of Dementia cases are Alzheimer's. Vascular dementia, mixed dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and frontotemporal dementia are other forms of dementia. * The cure has yet to be discovered although doctors prescribe treatments for each symptom plus appropriate support. A lot of international efforts are put in to learning more about the cure and how to stop the disease at its root source.
Alzheimers has affected 5.3 million people

172 billion dollars has been wasted annually due to this disease. It is the 7th leading cause of death in America There are about 10.9 million caregivers

Browser Title: Diagnosing Alzheimer's Page Title: Getting the Diagnosis Meta Keywords: Alzheimer's, disease, caregiver, myths, facts, senior, adult, care, doctor, assisted, living, home

Meta Description: What goes into the diagnosis of Alzheimer's? What should you look for and what should you tell your doctor? We go into these questions and more Content:

Locating the best doctor The primary thing to do when the symptoms show up is to locate the appropriate doctor that you can work with. Physicians who are well versed with Alzheimer's are preferred by Alzheimer's Association members. Look for a local Alzheimer's Association so that they can help to find the best doctor for you. There are several doctors needed to properly diagnose and treat this disease. Some people still prefer their regular doctors. They can still be able to diagnose and advise treatment. There are times when the primary care doctor transfers the patient to other specialists like: * A neurologist, doctor of diseases of the brain and nervous system * A psychiatrist, doctor who is knowledgeable in how the mind works. * A psychologist that is experienced in testing memory, concentration, problem solving, language and other mental functions Getting to know the problem Full medical workup is needed to accurately diagnose Alzheimer's. It will check the whole body system and look for any problem. It also checks how the mind copes with different situations. A specialist can accurately give a diagnose 90% of the time. Regular doctors can also diagnose the disease but cannot give the exact cause. The doctor will ask the following questions: * Do you notice anything different in your body? * When did it start to manifest? * Does it happen regularly? * Are they better or worse now? Screening tests for Dementia Dementia screening tests have been popping up rapidly on different health care facilities. These have been readily available to the public. A formal examination is sill strongly advised by the Alzheimer's Association. Accepted diagnostic processes for Alzheimers are being done by highly skilled physicians. Dementia screening tests don't proclaim that they can give a 100% accurate result, but just taking the test itself can give a person unwanted stress. The correct way to identify if the person has Dementia is to consult your doctor.

Checking your medical history The registered physician will get the family medical history from you and your family. This is to ensure and check if there are any related disorders to be warned about. Do not forget to bring all the medication that the patient is currently taking. The physician will also check other family member's medical records to check for any related diseases. Testing for Mental status This test will help the doctor diagnose if the patient is: * is knowledgeable of the different signs and symptoms that he is experiencing * can still recall the date, time and the place he is in. * can still perform cognitive tests Getting the Mini-mental state exam (MMSE) Testing the mental function of a patient is made using the mini-mental state examination (MMSE). Mental judgement is tested by a series of questions done by a certified health care professional. Some of the questions are: * Keep in mind three names of regular objects and repeat them after a couple of minutes. * What is the day, and date today? What is the season today? * Spell world or count from 100 by 7's backwards * Name the object that the tester points to. * Give the address to your exact location. * Repeat the words after the tester. * Draw the two interlocking shapes seen. * Put a piece of paper in your right hand, fold it in half and then put it on the floor. 30 points is the highest score that one can have. Mild dementia patients get 20-24 points. Moderate dementia patients receive 13-20 points. Patients who get less than 12 have severe dementia. About two to four points are shed each year with Alzheimer's patients. Information on the mini-cog
Mini-cog is one of the more popular tests. It examines your mental stability. Two things are needed to complete the test: 1. Recall three different objects and repeat them after a couple of minutes. 2. Asking the patient to draw a clock complete with the 12 numbers in correct order together with the specified time by the examiner.

The examiner will also test the emotional capacity of the patient to check for depression and other emotional disorders that can result to memory loss and suicidal tendencies. Important physical exam and diagnostic tests to be taken
The health care professional will

* Inquire about diet, nutrition and alcohol abuse. * Ask for a list of your medications being taken, so remember to bring them. * Examine your vital statistics * Check your heart and lungs. * Ask for blood, urine and fecal samples. These tests can tell if such symptoms like memory loss, confused thinking, trouble focusing attention, or other symptoms similar to dementia will manifest. These are: * Anemia, malnutrition or certain vitamin deficiencies * Alcohol abuse * Side-effects from different prescription drugs * Unwanted infections * Diabetes * Kidney or liver disease * Thyroid disorders * Cardio-Respiratory problems Additional Neurological tests This exam is crucial to diagnose the brain and nervous system for any problems. It will also help with the early detection of other disorders. The doctor will examine the patient's * Reflexes * Coordination and balance * Muscle tone and strength * Eye movement * Speech * Sensation Brain imaging: visualizing your brain There are new ways to study the brain. Technology has progressed in presenting the structure and function of the living brain.

* Structural imaging presents the shape, position or volume of brain tissue. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computed Tomography (CT) are some of the innovative structural imaging machines available. * Functional imaging machines present the brain and its cells and tissues in action. It also shows how well they absorb water and sugar. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and the Functional MRI (fMRI) are examples of Functional imaging machines. Most standard medical exams for Alzheimer's requests an MRI but CT are used at times. Their main functions are to check for tumors, strokes damage from trauma and fluid build up.
Browser Title: Page Title: Meta Keywords: Meta Description: Content: A Caregiver's guide to Alzheimer's Disease

Home care for a patient with Alzheimer's Disease (AD) can be overpowering. The caregiver has to adapt to the patient's ever changing physical and mental functions. Depression and illness re risk factors for caregivers. This is worse when family, friends and the community don't pitch in. The hardest thing that the caregiver will experience is the ever changing behavior of their patient. Simply trying to pull off daily routines such as getting dressed, eating and bathing will prove to be a huge challenge. Planning can ease the stress. There are different ways and strategies available that One of the biggest struggles caregivers face is dealing with the difficult behaviors of the person they are caring for. Dressing, bathing, eating--basic activities of daily living--often become difficult to manage for both the person with AD and the caregiver. Having a plan for getting through the day can help caregivers cope. Many caregivers have found it helpful to use strategies for dealing with difficult behaviors and stressful situations. Following are some suggestions to consider when faced with difficult aspects of caring for a person with AD. Dealing with the Diagnosis Finding out that a loved one has Alzheimers disease can be stressful, frightening, and overwhelming. As you begin to take stock of the situation, here are some tips that may help:

Ask the doctor any questions you have about AD. Find out what treatments might work best to alleviate symptoms or address behavior problems. Contact organizations such as the Alzheimers Association and the Alzheimers disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center for more information about the disease, treatment options, and care giving resources.

Some community groups may offer classes to teach care giving, problemsolving, and management skills. Find a support group where you can share your feelings and concerns. Members of support groups often have helpful ideas or know of useful resources based on their own experiences. Online support groups make it possible for caregivers to receive support without having to leave home. Study your day to see if you can develop a routine that makes things go more smoothly. If there are times of day when the person with AD is less confused or more cooperative, plan your routine to make the most of those moments. Keep in mind that the way the person functions may change from day to day, so try to be flexible and adapt your routine as needed Consider using adult day care or respite services to ease the day-to-day demands of care giving. These services allow you to have a break while knowing that the person with AD is being well cared for. Begin to plan for the future. This may include getting financial and legal documents in order, investigating long-term care options, and determining what services are covered by health insurance and Medicare.

Communication Trying to communicate with a person who has AD can be a challenge. Both understanding and being understood may be difficult.

Choose simple words and short sentences and use a gentle, calm tone of voice. Avoid talking to the person with AD like a baby or talking about the person as if he or she werent there. Minimize distractions and noise--such as the television or radio--to help the person focus on what you are saying. Call the person by name, making sure you have his or her attention before speaking. Allow enough time for a response. Be careful not to interrupt. If the person with AD is struggling to find a word or communicate a thought, gently try to provide the word he or she is looking for. Try to frame questions and instructions in a positive way.

Bathing While some people with AD dont mind bathing, for others it is a frightening, confusing experience. Advance planning can help make bath time better for both of you.

Plan the bath or shower for the time of day when the person is most calm and agreeable. Be consistent. Try to develop a routine. Respect the fact that bathing is scary and uncomfortable for some people with AD. Be gentle and respectful. Be patient and calm. Tell the person what you are going to do, step by step, and allow him or her

to do as much as possible. Prepare in advance. Make sure you have everything you need ready and in the bathroom before beginning. Draw the bath ahead of time. Be sensitive to the temperature. Warm up the room beforehand if necessary and keep extra towels and a robe nearby. Test the water temperature before beginning the bath or shower. Minimize safety risks by using a handheld showerhead, shower bench, grab bars, and non-skid bath mats. Never leave the person alone in the bath or shower. Try a sponge bath. Bathing may not be necessary every day. A sponge bath can be effective between showers or baths.

Dressing For someone who has AD, getting dressed presents a series of challenges: choosing what to wear, getting some clothes off and other clothes on, and struggling with buttons and zippers. Minimizing the challenges may make a difference.

Try to have the person get dressed at the same time each day so he or she will come to expect it as part of the daily routine. Encourage the person to dress himself or herself to whatever degree possible. Plan to allow extra time so there is no pressure or rush. Allow the person to choose from a limited selection of outfits. If he or she has a favorite outfit, consider buying several identical sets. Arrange the clothes in the order they are to be put on to help the person move through the process. Provide clear, step-by-step instructions if the person needs prompting. Choose clothing that is comfortable, easy to get on and off, and easy to care for. Elastic waists and Velcro enclosures minimize struggles with buttons and zippers.

Eating Eating can be a challenge. Some people with AD want to eat all the time, while others have to be encouraged to maintain a good diet.

Ensure a quiet, calm atmosphere for eating. Limiting noise and other distractions may help the person focus on the meal. Provide a limited number of choices of food and serve small portions. You may want to offer several small meals throughout the day in place of three larger ones. Use straws or cups with lids to make drinking easier. Substitute finger foods if the person struggles with utensils. Using a bowl instead of a plate also may help. Have healthy snacks on hand. To encourage eating, keep the snacks where they can be seen. Visit the dentist regularly to keep mouth and teeth healthy.

Activities What to do all day? Finding activities that the person with AD can do and is interested in can be a challenge. Building on current skills generally works better than trying to teach something new.

Dont expect too much. Simple activities often are best, especially when they use current abilities. Help the person get started on an activity. Break the activity down into small steps and praise the person for each step he or she completes. Watch for signs of agitation or frustration with an activity. Gently help or distract the person to something else. Incorporate activities the person seems to enjoy into your daily routine and try to do them at a similar time each day. Take advantage of adult day services, which provide various activities for the person with AD, as well as an opportunity for caregivers to gain temporary relief from tasks associated with care giving. Transportation and meals often are provided.

Exercise Incorporating exercise into the daily routine has benefits for both the person with AD and the caregiver. Not only can it improve health, but it also can provide a meaningful activity for both of you to share.

Think about what kind of physical activities you both enjoy, perhaps walking, swimming, tennis, dancing, or gardening. Determine the time of day and place where this type of activity would work best. Be realistic in your expectations. Build slowly, perhaps just starting with a short walk around the yard, for example, before progressing to a walk around the block. Be aware of any discomfort or signs of overexertion. Talk to the persons doctor if this happens. Allow as much independence as possible, even if it means a less-thanperfect garden or a scoreless tennis match. See what kinds of exercise programs are available in your area. Senior centers may have group programs for people who enjoy exercising with others. Local malls often have walking clubs and provide a place to exercise when the weather is bad. Encourage physical activities. Spend time outside when the weather permits. Exercise often helps everyone sleep better.

Incontinence As the disease progresses, many people with AD begin to experience incontinence, or the inability to control their bladder and/or bowels. Incontinence can be upsetting to the person and difficult for the caregiver. Sometimes incontinence is due to physical illness, so be sure to discuss it with the persons doctor.

Have a routine for taking the person to the bathroom and stick to it as

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