Thursday, November 13, 2008

Allan Appel: View people as living with, not dying from, Alzheimer's disease

TC Palm
By Allan Appel
The most significant concern of those with the early stage of Alzheimer's is the effect on daily life. The key here is one's independence.
Friends and relatives of people with the early stage of Alzheimer's disease face a major adjustment in their lives. But the patients must deal with their own distinct issues.
The Alzheimer's Association recently released a report entitled "Voices of Alzheimer's Disease: Summary Report on the Nationwide Town Hall Meetings for People with Early Stage Dementia."
The report focuses on the opportunity of those with the early stage of Alzheimer's to actively participate in their own course of treatment. Memory loss and functional decline are well-known aspects of Alzheimer's, but this report focuses on the patients' remaining abilities and especially how they wish to be treated and viewed by medical professionals and by the public.
One of the biggest issues is the stigma of the disease and its impact on relationships. A contrast is drawn between focusing on patients living with the disease, rather than dying from it.
Dealing with the diagnostic process and follow-up care are also major concerns for those with the early stage of Alzheimer's. There seems to be a general lack of direction for those newly diagnosed. There is no "road map," if you will, to guide patients through the maze of medical care.
A diagnosis of Alzheimer's can be really scary. So much is unknown and lack of knowledge results in fear, and that fear the whole article

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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