Psych Unit 1: Alzheimers

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  1. What is Alzheimer's disease (AD)?
    It is the most common form of dementia among older people. Dementia is a brain disorder that seriously affects a person's ability to carry out daily activities by the degradation of memory.
  2. How do the stages proceed?
    • Alzheimer's begins slowly. It first involves the parts of your brain that control thought, memory and language.
    • Stages: Mild, Moderate, Severe
  3. When does it happen? Who is at risk?
    Alzheimer's usually begins after age 60. The risk goes up as you get older. Your risk is also higher if a family member has had the disease.
  4. Treatment:
    There is no treatment that can stop the disease. However, some drugs may help keep symptoms from getting worse for a limited time.
  5. Stage Mild symptoms
    • has difficulty learning new thing and making new memories
    • forget some words and substitute them for other words with similar sounds
    • Loses her way going to familiar places
    • tries not to talk in order not to make mistakes
    • Forgets where things go or loses things by placing them in odd places
    • Resists change
    • asks repetitive questions
    • angry when frustrated or tired
    • Do not make decisions "ill have what she'll have"
    • takes longer doing chores
    • forgets to pay, pays too much, forgets how to pay
    • forgets how to eat, eats only one thing, eats constantly
    • mixes identities, son is brother, wife is stranger
    • Forgets how to do daily activities
    • when left alone may wander and risk exposure
    • awakes at night thinking it is time to work
    • Thinks mirror image is following or that tv story is happening to her
    • cannot organize thoughts or follor logical directions
    • Repetitive motions
  6. Stage Moderate Symptoms
    • cannot formulate the correct response to written request
    • inappropriate behavior: cursing, threatening, hitting, biting, screaming or grabbing.
    • May see, hear, smell or taste things that are not there
    • May accuse spouse of an affair or family member of stealing
    • Makes up stories to fill gaps in memory.
  7. Stage Severe Symptoms
    • Does not recognize self or close family
    • Speaks in gibberish, is mute or can't be understood
    • May refuse to eat, chokes or forgets to swallow.
    • Repetitively cry out, or pat or touch things
    • Loses control of bowel or bladder
    • Loses weight and skin becomes thin and tear easily
    • May look uncomfortable or cry out when transferred or touched
    • Forgets to walk or is too unsteady to walk alone
    • May have seizures, infections and falls
    • Needs total assistance for all activities of daily living.
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Psych Unit 1: Alzheimers
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