Managing a Parent's Alzheimer's Disease (06:28)
A woman describes her mother's gradually worsening short term memory loss and the decision to place her in an assisted living facility. She discusses her role as an adult child.
Confusion is the primary reason families seek assisted care for love ones. Changes in mental status are often caused by physical changes or illness; staff members should not take odd behavior personally. A woman discusses her mother's memory loss.
Aging Process and Cognitive Decline (03:24)
Aging is progressive, universal, and irreversible; cell damage increases disease probability. Genetics and environmental factors impact aging. Hear a dementia definition and learn about normal brain function.
Alzheimer's Disease Pathology (03:10)
Abnormal amounts of beta amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain prevent neurons from sending impulses to each other, impacting cognition.
Alzheimer's Disease Symptoms (03:01)
Forgetfulness associated with aging progresses to a more permanent state of confusion, memory loss, and inability to care for oneself. The brain cannot generate new memories. Late onset Alzheimer's accounts for 90% of cases and increases hereditary risk.
Preventing Alzheimer's Disease (02:24)
Advancing age and Down syndrome are risk factors. The cognitive reserve hypothesis suggests education helps prevent LAD. Researchers are investigating dietary and environmental risk factors.
Conditions Mimicking Alzheimer's Disease (01:56)
Hypothyroidism, vitamin deficiencies, niacin deficiencies, folic acid deficiency, neurosyphilis, depression, delirium, and poisoning can cause dementia symptoms.
Alzheimer's Disease: Level One (03:48)
The first stage, or "forgetful" stage, includes two to four years leading up to diagnosis. Symptoms include denial of memory loss, social behavior changes, decreased financial management abilities, resistance to change, and difficulty finding words. A woman lists her mother's symptoms.
Alzheimer's Disease: Level Two (03:23)
The "confusion" stage can last two to ten years after diagnosis. Symptoms include severe forgetfulness, impaired concentration, rambling speech, moodiness, social withdrawal, and paranoid or inappropriate behavior. A woman describes her mother's wandering and its effect on her father.
Alzheimer's Disease: Level Three (01:43)
The final stage lasts one to three years. Patients experience severe disorientation and confusion, hallucinations, paranoia, agitation, wandering, incontinence, difficulty swallowing, visual problems, inability to recognize family, and inability to communicate.
Diagnosing Alzheimer's Disease (04:59)
There is no definitive diagnostic test; doctors use a systemic assessment to eliminate other possible dementia causes. Psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, geriatricians, nurses, social workers, and occupational therapists may help diagnose patients using a medical history, mental status exam, and medical imaging.
Alzheimer's Disease Treatment Areas (01:29)
Areas include medications improving memory and daily functioning; managing new and unusual behaviors; and treating other conditions like depression or hearing and vision problems.
Global Deterioration Scale (03:44)
Learn about the seven GDS stages describing Alzheimer's disease progression.
Caring for Alzheimer's Patients (02:59)
Hear ways to manage challenging behavior and provide a safe environment.
Sensory Considerations and Communication (14:26)
Infections are common among Alzheimer's patients, and are often discovered late. In late disease stages, residents have feelings but no comprehension. Hear verbal and non-verbal ways to communicate clearly, respectfully, and positively to ensure complete patient care—including deciphering non-verbal pain expressions.
Grieving Process (05:50)
Living with Alzheimer's disease is emotionally stressful on caregivers and family members, as well as the patient. Kubler-Ross's phases of dying include denial, anger, bargaining, grieving, and acceptance. One woman experienced feelings of guilt and helplessness when her mother's personality changed.
Assisted Living Dynamics (01:58)
Many families experience guilt when placing loved ones in a care facility. Their anger is not directed at caregivers, but reflects their helplessness. Facilities can encourage family involvement through programming, care team conferences, and support group resources.
Assisted Living Facility Environment (05:00)
Creating a safe, home-like atmosphere helps Alzheimer's patients adjust to new surroundings, accommodates behavioral changes, and encourages independence. Facilities should store medications in restricted access areas; position non-ambulatory residents with interesting views; ensure safety of belongings; provide scheduled activities; and encourage socializing.
Nursing Ethical Principles (02:17)
Ethical decision making is guided by values that are shaped by individual views, life experience, and culture. Learn about patient autonomy, beneficence, and justice.
Ethical Dilemma Scenarios (02:20)
Consider conflicts around patient autonomy, caregiver beneficence, and patient justice that may arise in an assisted living facility.
Credits: Alzheimer's Disease For Assisted Living Facilities, Level One (00:15)
Credits: Alzheimer's Disease For Assisted Living Facilities, Level One
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