Instances of Alzheimer's disease, a condition which is regarded as incredibly difficult to manage, are on the rise in the U.S. as the population ages.
PHOENIX, ARIZONA, UNITED STATES, October 10, 2018 /EINPresswire.com/ — The behavioral symptoms associated with the disease are among the most difficult to manage for families of those affected by Alzheimer's. These behavioral changes, coupled with pain, depression, anxiety, and many further, worsening symptoms typically call for a broad spectrum of care. Having experienced the effects of Alzheimer's first hand within his own family, Andrew Cratsenberg explains how the disease develops slowly, gradually worsening over the course of several years. The illness, says Cratsenberg, affects not only the patient, but also all of those who love them dearly, and often over an extended period of time.
The disease is now the sixth biggest cause of death in the United States. Alzheimer's and dementia are also leading causes of disability and wider poor health in those aged over 65, points out Cratsenberg, an attorney and property investor based in Federal Way, Washington.
As Cratsenberg highlights, Alzheimer's disease usually develops slowly, gradually worsening over the course of a number of years. Indeed, progression may last more than a decade, according to the Alzheimer's Association, although on average, an individual will lose their life to the disease within four to eight years of onset and diagnosis.
Throughout this time, Cratsenberg reveals that managing the condition is key. Monitoring behavioral changes, he suggests, and communicating, as best as possible, are absolutely vital. Sharing advice received when caring for a family member suffering from the disease, Cratsenberg points out that taking time to simply listen to how the affected individual is feeling, what they're thinking about, or what they may simply need, is crucial.
As symptoms progress and the disease worsens, things become exponentially more difficult. This 'middle stage' of Alzheimer's is usually the longest period of the disease, typically lasting for several years. Cratsenberg advises being patient and supportive during this time, offering comfort and reassurance, and always speaking slowly and clearly. Maintaining eye contact when communicating, and avoiding any form of criticism is also important, he points out.
Once an individual advances from the so-called middle stage of Alzheimer's into the late or final stage of the disease, memory loss becomes more severe, and many individuals lose almost any ability to communicate effectively. At this point, those suffering from Alzheimer's disease rely most heavily on their caregivers.
Cratsenberg explains that while it's incredibly difficult to see a loved one enter this final stage of the disease, it's important to treat them patiently, and with the utmost respect. Instead of attempting to communicate solely through speech, nonverbal communication should be encouraged, such as pointing or gesturing.
Toward the end, Alzheimer's disease is devastating for all involved, according to Cratsenberg. However, by adhering to advice and best practices from specialist physicians and outlined by groups such as the Alzheimer's Association, it's possible to approach all stages of the disease with compassion and dignity, he adds, wrapping up.
To learn more about the Alzheimer's Association, or for help and support, call 800-272-3900 or visit https://www.alz.org/.
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Source: EIN Presswire