Alzheimer’s Disease Resources

Nearly six million individuals in the United States and Canada alone have Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia – a number that is expected to reach nearly 20 million in the next five decades. These are not just statistics; they represent millions of families with loved ones who require special senior care, both at home and in assisted living facilities.

You are not alone. Since 1994, families like yours have trusted care agency like Interactive Care Agency to provide one-on-one Alzheimer’s care and dementia care for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

Interactive Care Agency provide CAREGivers with the latest in Alzheimer’s education and dementia care techniques, so you can be assured your loved one is with a trusted professional. CAREGivers are trained to:

  • Maintain a safe environment
  • Manage changing behaviors
  • Provide nutritious meals
  • Provide mind-stimulating activities
  • Create social interaction
  • Supervise daily activities

CAREGivers can also provide assistance with enhancing and restoring the simple pleasures of life, such as a walk in the park, a ride in the car to get ice cream or spending time in the garden. These elder care activities are proven to maximize abilities and independence. They remain one of the best treatments for this disease.

The best place for a person with memory loss is in familiar surroundings. The services provided by Interactive Care Agency staffs are a valuable, trusted solution to help your loved one maintain a regular routine, thus enhancing his or her quality of life.

Our approach of encouragement and assistance helps family members cope with the challenges of dementia.Please contact Interactive Care Agency; visit the National Alzheimer’s Association at www.alz.org or log onto the Alzheimer’s Foundation web site at www.alzfdn.org for more information and resources.

Alzheimer’s Care Guide

Alzheimer’s care may refer to senior care services that specialize in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Caregivers who provide Alzheimer’s care are specially trained in working with individuals with Alzheimer’s and in helping them with daily activities. Facilities for Alzheimer’s care, sometimes called Alzheimer’s special care units (SCUs), are designed to provide an increased sense of familiarity and ensure a safe environment and for residents[1]. Frequently, one Alzheimer’s care residence will have multiple facilities available to provide appropriate environments for individuals at each stage of the disease.

Alzheimer’s care may also refer to treatments and medications for the disease. Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, drug and non-drug treatments are used to help with both cognitive and behavioral symptoms.[1] Health professionals often divide the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease into cognitive and behavioral and psychiatric categories.[2]

Treatments for cognitive symptoms

Cholinesterase inhibitors: Prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, a chemical messenger important for learning and memory.[2]

Memantine: Regulates the activity of glutamate, a different messenger chemical involved in learning and memory.[2]

Treatments for behavioral and psychiatric symptoms

Alzheimer’s disease can affect the way a person feels and acts in addition to its impact on memory and other thought processes. There are two approaches to managing behavioral symptoms.[2]

Non-drug approaches

Steps to developing successful non-drug treatments include:

  • Recognizing that the person is not just acting mean or ornery, but is having further symptoms of the disease
  • Understanding the cause and how the symptom may relate to the experience of the person with Alzheimer’s
  • Changing the person’s environment to resolve challenges and obstacles to comfort, security, and ease of mind
  • Potential solutions include the following:[2]
  • Monitor personal comfort. Check for pain, hunger, thirst, constipation, full bladder, fatigue, infections and skin irritation. Maintain a comfortable room temperature.
  • Avoid being confrontational or arguing about facts; instead, respond to the feeling behind what is being expressed.
  • Redirect the person’s attention. Try to remain flexible, patient, and supportive.
  • Create a calm environment. Avoid noise, glare, insecure space, and too much background distraction, including television.
  • Simplify the environment, tasks, and solutions.
  • Allow adequate rest between stimulating events.
  • Provide a security object or privacy.
  • Equip doors and gates with safety locks.
  • Remove guns.

Medications

If non-drug approaches aren’t affective, medications may be appropriate when combined with non-drug methods.[2] Antidepressant medications are often prescribed for low mood and irritability; anxiolytics for anxiety, restlessness, verbally disruptive behavior, and resistance; and antipsychotic medications for hallucinations, delusions, aggression, agitation, hostility, and uncooperativeness.[2]

References

1. Alzheimer’s Association. (n.d.) Choosing Care Providers. Retrieved July 9, 2009, from http://www.alz.org/living_with_alzheimers_choosing_care_providers.asp

2. Alzheimer’s Association. (n.d.) What is Alzheimer’s? Retrieved July 1, 2009, from http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_treatments.asp.

3. Alzheimer’s Association. (n.d.) What is Alzheimer’s? Retrieved July 1, 2009, from http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_standard_prescriptions.asp.