The memory changes as people become older, and memory loss can interfere with daily life as people are diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Proper diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is the only way to know whether or not someone has the disease. There is no single test that will diagnose someone with Alzheimer's disease. In order to properly be diagnosed with Alzheimer's, the doctor must rule out other possible causes of symptoms, such as forgetfulness. A complete evaluation will help determine whether Alzheimer's disease is the cause of a person's symptoms. A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can be heartbreaking news to a family. When a family member is newly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, the news can be devastating. For my project, I chose to do a Case Study. For the case study, I interviewed Darlene Edwards whose mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
She said the first step is to get the proper diagnoses by a healthcare professional. They will perform a complete physical examination, they will take a urine or blood samples, or both, carry out memory and psychological tests to see how well the brain is working, and order a brain scan (like a computerized tomography scan).
During the interview, she shared information of what her family is going through while taking care of her mother. They have decided to allow their mother to stay in her senior citizen apartment rather than a nursing home. Her mother needs full time care, twenty four hours a day, and someone has to be with her at all times. During the interview, I saw that she was very passionate about sharing information with me regarding the disease and how it has affected her family.
She mentioned if you recognize that a family member may have Alzheimer’s, that person needs to have a CAT scan; this test scans the brain. Dye is injected in the body in order to get a closer look at the brain. This will show if the brain deteriorating.
There are three degrees of Alzheimer’s, from onset to early/middle stage to severe stage. From onset to severe stage, the disease can last up to 20 years. If someone in your family has or had Alzheimer’s, a test can be done to find out if you are a candidate for the disease.
She mentioned that she recognized there was a problem with her mother about eight years ago. Her mother’s behavior started to change but she dismissed it. As time went on, her behavior continued to get worse. At that point, the family decided to get help from the medical professional. They were told that her mother had Alzheimer’s. Another name for the disease is called “diabetes of the brain”. They were told it is amyloid, which is a chemical within in the body. It travels through the blood stream, clings, and eats away at the brain cells. Medication was prescribed for their mother to calm her down and it allowed her to be more cooperative.
Even with the medication, she has had troubles during the night, especially going to the bathroom. Her communication is adequate, but they cannot correct her if she is wrong about anything, they go along with her. If they take her shopping, they cannot tell her she does not have enough money to pay for something that she wants. They allow her to feel she is still a person. They do not keep her isolated because she becomes very lonely and confused. They try to keep her engaged in conversation or in activities, this makes her feel she is a part of the family.
Since her diagnosis, her behavior and memory have changed drastically. Each time the stage changes, she is able to do less. No one knows how long each stage will last.
It is very challenging but they have a great family support, everyone helps in taking care of their mother.
There are certain words that trigger emotional distress; they try to avoid using them. Some of