Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

Discussion Prompt 1: Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s is one of the more common Neurocognitive Disorders. Many individuals are familiar with Dementia and Alzheimer’s when discussing cognitive impairment in the elderly. Alzheimer’s Disease is characterized by a cognitive decline that interferes with maintaining independent living. The cognitive decline may occur in one or more domains: executive function, complex attention, learning and memory, perceptual-motor, language or social cognition (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).

While Alzheimer’s Disease typically develops in individuals older than 65 years of age, there is not a minimum age requirement for Alzheimer’s Disease. Individuals who develop the disease prior to age 65 are considered to have early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Individuals can develop Alzheimer’s Disease as early as their 30’s, 40’s or 50’s!

Alzheimer’s Disease tends to develop somewhat slowly. In many instances, close friends and family members do not see the warning signs until the disease has significantly progressed. The individual may know at onset of the disease that something is wrong with his or her cognition. This knowledge can be a frightening experience and may account for some of the acting out behavior seen early on in the disease.

Currently, there are no medications that treat Alzheimer’s Disease. Several medications do slow down the progression of the disease but are not able to reverse it. In medication management of Alzheimer’s Disease, doctors often seek to keep individuals calm by decreasing agitation and aggressive behaviors. This allows the individual to remain in the least restrictive environment for as long as possible. Once an individual begins to wander from home or engage in unsafe behavior, family members often seek the safety of a nursing home placement on a secure (locked) unit.

As you can imagine, this disease (and other Neurocognitive Disorders) are very hard for the individual, caregivers and family members! Keep this in mind as you engage in the simulation videos.

Assignment
Watch the following video (and read the associated article) that will allow you in the “shoes” of an individual struggling with Neurocognitive Disorder Due to Alzheimer’s Dementia. Take specific note of your own thoughts and feelings as you view the simulation. You may want to take written note of these reactions for use in your initial discussion prompt post.

Experience 12 Minutes In Alzheimer’s Dementia

Source: https://youtu.be/LL_Gq7Shc-Y

Take the Virtual Dementia Tour (article)

After viewing the video and reading the article, start by describing any thoughts and/or feelings you had while completing the experiential activity. Then, apply the experience to your own life considering how your life would be different and/or change if you or someone you love developed similar symptoms. Some questions to consider: What would be different at home, work or school? How would your relationships be affected? Would your thoughts about yourself or your loved one change? Where would you turn for help?

Sample Solution

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