Alzheimer dementia is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive impairments in cognitive functions and loss of functional independence. Awareness and accepting signs of the dementia is the key to understanding the disease process. It’s a life-limiting illness according to Dr. Zaldy S. Tan, professor of Department of Gerontology, UCLA. It’s one of the leading cause of death in US. The person with the disease may suffer malnutrition, poor hygiene and severe depression as they forget a lot of things.
At advanced stage of the disease they become dependent on their caregivers.
Once they are neglected that’s when complication occurs like infection, failure to
thrive, difficulty swallowing, aspiration and pressure ulcer, etc.
What can we do to help? Discussed with your parents advance directives at early stage.
Explore different scenarios that can happen as they deteriorate and what
they want to be done. Established preferred level of goal of treatment whether
they want to be conservative or aggressive. When that time comes make sure
that his or her wishes are respected or aligned with the goal of care.
For you as a caregiver or family should understand that it’s a disease process and at this time there’s no cure. Medications can slow down or alleviate some of the symptoms. There are support group available for you. You should not let the
illness define your love ones, it’s a debilitating disease but we have to deal with it.
Please follow the link to better assist you in your care for your family: