Alzheimer's For Dummies

Alzheimer's For Dummies

Patricia B. Smith

Language: English

Pages: 384

ISBN: 0764538993

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


An estimated 4 million people are living with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) in America today, with approximately 370,000 new cases diagnosed every year. AD patients live anywhere from 5 to 20 years after their diagnosis; and their inability to care for themselves grows more dramatic as the disease progresses, creating profound implications for their families and healthcare providers. Its impact on families during the caregiving years is overwhelming.

If you have a family member or close friend who’s suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and you’re looking for current, useful information, then Alzheimer’s For Dummies is for you. This reference guide also is helpful if you

  • Need to know more about its diagnosis and treatment
  • Want to take care of yourself while taking care of your loved one
  • Are not the primary caregiver but want to know how to help
  • Want to know how Alzheimer’s Disease is going to affect you and your loved one

Alzheimer’s For Dummies takes a realistic look at Alzheimer’s Disease, what it is and what it isn’t. It offers pertinent, easy-to-understand advice for dealing with the myriad concerns and responsibilities that a primary caregiver must assume when managing an Alzheimer’s patient. Here’s a sampling of the information you’ll find in this valuable guide:

  • Maneuvering through medical, legal, and financial tangles
  • Distinguishing AD from other brain diseases and medical conditions
  • Handling the fears that may accompany the diagnosis
  • Evaluating current drug therapies; watching out for scams and quack treatments
  • Finding the best doctors; dealing with attorneys and CPAs
  • Looking at Medicare regulations
  • Evaluating the cost of care
  • The current state of research, diagnosis, and treatment

Television personality Leeza Gibbons, whose mother was stricken with AD, writes in the foreword of this book, “There is no upside to keeping your head in the sand. This book is a crucial step in your new fight. Arm yourself with the knowledge waiting for you in these pages. It will help you find answers and resources as you adjust to your new reality.”

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prescription drugs or extra days in the hospital. You should also know that many insurance carriers have dropped their Medigap policies because they claim that getting reimbursements from the government in a timely fashion is too difficult. If you’re having trouble locating a Medigap plan provider, fill out the form available at www.medicare.gov/Coverage/Home.asp . This is Medicare’s Personal Plan Finder, which can help you locate suitable insurance carriers in your state. Private

clinical interview. They’re looking for problems in understanding commands (for example, “Take this piece of paper, fold it, and place it on the table”), taking directions, and the ability to find the correct word when speaking. In other words, is the patient’s speech fluid and cohesive, or does he or she show evidence of problems when speaking? Checking sensory abilities Sensory abilities help people make sense of the physical world around them. Alzheimer’s patients suffer a disruption of

is not to let your fears ruin the time you have left. New medications are helping AD patients retain cognitive, functional, and social abilities for longer periods of time; with good care and a good outlook, you have a strong chance of maintaining a good quality of life. See Chapter 7 for a thorough review of the four currently approved drugs for Alzheimer’s patients. If you’ve only recently been diagnosed, you may worry about exactly what lies ahead. In Chapter 6, we discuss the stages of

these procedures are higher than the average listed. Chapter 11 Finding Alternative Therapies In This Chapter Discovering ways to calm Alzheimer’s Disease patients Planning structured social events A lthough you may often feel powerless to help your loved one (and yourself) cope with the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), some new programs are proving that you can In this chapter, we use the term alternative therapies to describe a broad array of community support

visiting animal companions. Animals allow AD patients to establish emotionally satisfying bonds that they perceive as safe and fulfilling, because therapy animals make no demands in return for their freely given affection. People who’ve been feeling isolated because of illness are able to feel a sense of connection with a therapy animal, and that connection may sometimes lead to improved socialization with caregivers, fellow patients, and family members. Even if the effect is only temporary, it’s

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