CareWorks Health Services
Moulton Parkway STE 103C
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
of Business: 24/7 Service
provide Medical/Non-Medical Home Health Care Helping
Seniors and Disabled Adults live independently and safely,
in the place they want most, Home
24/7. Our caregivers believe in and adopt our
Ten Commandments”, the cornerstone of success
for all our “Compassionate Companions”.
provide the most compassionate care to all individuals
- begining with newborns, hospital outpatient care to
seniors. With our dedicated and committed professionals,
our experienced team of caregivers are supported by our
diligent Support Staff making them the best in the industry.
Alzheimer's Disease: What Every Family Needs to Know
Disease: What Every Family Needs to Know
disease touches the lives of millions of Americans. Today, some
4.5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer\'s, and 1 in 10 families
have a loved one afflicted with it. With no cure in sight, it
is important for families to arm themselves with information about
this devastating disease.
disease begins slowly.
Like a stroke,
Alzheimer\'s kills brain cells. Unlike a stroke, however, Alzheimer\'s
does not strike suddenly. And, its effects are more far-ranging.
Experts like to say that Alzheimer\'s has an insidious onset.
This means simply that the disease starts slowly and unfolds very
gradually. So gradually, in fact, that the person who has Alzheimer\'s
may not realize that anything is wrong until a great deal of brain
tissue has been destroyed.
* Early symptoms
reflect what is happening inside the brain.
disease attacks tissue deep within the brain and spreads out to
include all those regions associated with complex thinking and
learning; those regions of the brain that make us uniquely human.
As the path of destruction widens, individuals who have Alzheimer\'s
will eventually notice that their thinking skills are deteriorating.
More often than not, they will notice that their memory is failing.
But, it is not just a series of senior moments. Individuals stricken
by Alzheimer\'s will have more than a little difficulty finding
the right words to express their thoughts and feeling. They may
forget the names of familiar places and long-term acquaintances.
They are likely to forget long standing appointments. To compensate
for these everyday losses, they may withdraw from friends and
avoid social gatherings. Their homes may become littered with
notes and other reminders as they struggle to overcome their memory
disease affects personality and behavior.
even as problems accumulate, many individuals will actively deny
their difficulties. Denial is a common way of coping in the earliest
stages of Alzheimer\'s. It is a defense mechanism that helps to
preserve a sense of self-worth, which becomes increasingly fragile
as thinking skills fail. Unfortunately, denial does not 'work'
forever or for everyone. When denial no longer works, some individuals
sink into depression. Others may react with angry outbursts, even
rage, in the face of everyday frustrations. It is especially common
for individuals afflicted with Alzheimer\'s to develop a kind
of apathy. They lose interest in those things that used to bring
* Early signs
of Alzheimer\'s may go unrecognized by family members.
engage in their own form of denial when it comes to Alzheimer\'s
in a loved one. Significant memory problems in their loved one
may be dismissed as simply a part of getting old. As a result,
family members often overlook the earliest signs of mental deterioration.
They become concerned and seek outside help only after they begin
to notice the more obvious changes in behavior or personality.
By then, Alzheimer\'s has probably progressed to the point where
their loved one can no longer live independently.
must be prepared for what is going to happen.
diagnosis of Alzheimer\'s is finally made, it is important for
family members to understand that this is not a disease that can
be cured or reversed. The fact is, individuals who have Alzheimer\'s
will spiral downward toward total care and, ultimately, death.
It may take years, but individuals who have Alzheimer\'s will
eventually lose everything that defines their personhood. Among
other things, their ability to communicate will continue to decline.
They will lose the ability to dress and groom themselves. They
will need assistance using the toilet. They may begin to wander
and to experience hallucinations. In the final stages of the disease,
individuals afflicted with Alzheimer\'s will be unable to recognize
a spouse or a child. Motor skills will decline so much that they
will be unable to walk or to feed themselves. They will lose all
control of bowel and bladder. Eventually, all body systems will
must be willing to reach out for help.
to think carefully about the amount of assistance they are willing
and able to provide. Affection for the afflicted individual, as
well as a sense of obligation, can initially blind family members
to the harsh realities of caring for their loved one. Families
must understand that the kind of care required will become more
and more demanding. Worse, they will have to watch as the deterioration
takes place. Among family caregivers, stress reactions can be
quite severe and depression is very common. To cope, family caregivers
must seek help from their larger community. The local Alzheimer\'s
Association should be their first stop. It is the best single
resource available. The local Alzheimer\'s Association can direct
families to a variety of services and assistance. For example,
many communities have respite programs to give families a short
break from care giving. Adult daycare also may be available to
provide care during the day while family caregivers continue with
their regular jobs. Often times, special support groups are available
to help caregivers deal with the depression and other negative
emotions that can develop over time. In any case, families of
persons afflicted with Alzheimer\'s disease do not have to go
it alone. Help is available.
Douglas Hardwick, Ph.D., holds a doctorate in psychology from the
University of Virginia. Dr. Hardwick has extensive interests in
aging and holistic health issues. He developed the website: www.holisticwebworks.com
- a holistic health information hub