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The Major Effects Of Alzheimer's Disease

1590 words - 7 pages

The major effects of Alzheimer’s disease

The former liberal party leader, Michael Ignatieff said in his essay, “Deficits” (2010) “Sometimes I try to count the number of times she asks me these questions but I lose track” (p.108). Ignatieff is expressing his own feelings towards his mother’s Dementia of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Alois Alzheimer, a German physician discovered a patient that suffered from a severe dementia due to brain abnormalities. Alzheimer’s disease is the second most-feared irreversible illness in America, following Cancer. It affects as many as 5 million Americans, a number that could soar to 16 million by 2050 (Hoffman, Froemke, and Golant, 2009, para 1). ...view middle of the document...

The commonly known changes in behavior associated are the use of repetition and aggression. In “The Everything Guide to Alzheimer’s disease” repetition can consist of a sentence while it can also consist of a simple gesture, such as, crumbling a tissue over and over, which is not considered harmful to that individual. (Dezell & Hill, 2009, p.190).This then relates to a person’s increased sense of paranoia, a most common type of delusion. In the book, “Connecting the Dots,” (2009) it is mentioned that due to paranoia, “they no longer recognize family members and only see them as strangers who will harm him or her. They are suspicious of actions such as a family member bathing or dressing that individual” (London, 2009, p.80). A person’s brain begins to deteriorate; this affects their own safety and security.
People who are in their second stages of Alzheimer’s are a great concern when it comes to the safety of society and to the person himself. Driving is a very complex activity as simple as it is, the person will not be able to show a sense of alertness, quick reactions or even split-second decision making. Therefore, the need to make sure that he or she will hand over the keys and retire driving is necessary. Those adult children who understand the necessary skills to drive a car properly were surveyed and resulted with, “One-fourth of the adult children surveyed said they would like to see their elderly parents limit their driving. Some 33 percent favored some type of mandatory testing or restrictions on elderly drivers” (Dezell & Hill, 2009, p.140). While being able to drive a car properly is important, the safety at home of a person with Alzheimer’s can be extremely dangerous and affect them in multiple ways. There are many different factors that can be possible to create a dangerous scenario, basically treating them as a toddler; if the house is not secured properly they can in most cases become “confused of day and night thinking night is morning which leads to wandering” (Dezell & Hill, 2009, p.144). While not only is the inside of the house a hazard but there is also outside of the house. The caregiver is given the responsibility of either being with that person 24/7 to keep an eye on them or to secure the house with, “sturdy textured steps to prevent falls in wet and icy weather and restricting access to a swimming pool by fencing it in” (Dezell & Hill, 2009, p.145). The biggest hazard for the person with Alzheimer’s and the caregiver is the responsibility of money and fraud protection. Those with Alzheimer’s disease affect the judgments of that individual which makes it difficult for them to handle any type of bills or checks. Usually, without the assistance of a caregiver that person is “taken in for fraud schemes” (Dezell & Hill, 2009, p.146). With all the responsibility that is put on the caregiver, this brings out the factors of having to cope with the change in both lifestyles and the emotions that...

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