Alzheimer’s In Nursing Homes
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative disease that affects the brain and results in cognitive impairment. People with Alzheimer’s lose their ability to remember new information, make decisions, organize their thoughts and activities, understand visual images and language, communicate effectively with others, and perform daily living activities. There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s; the course of the disease varies widely from person to person. The progression of Alzheimer’s varies widely from person to person; it can take 10 years or longer for symptoms to appear after the onset of underlying pathology.
The number of people with Alzheimer’s disease is rising.
The number of people with Alzheimer’s disease is rising. The National Institute on Aging has reported that the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s has risen from 4 million to 5 million since 2012, but this figure is expected to grow as more boomers enter their senior years.
Family caregivers are having difficulty caring for their loved ones.
Older adults with dementia are at risk for developing a number of complications, including infections, falls and immobility. This can result in increased medical costs, which may be covered by Medicare or Medicaid on a case-by-case basis. The costs associated with caring for an older adult with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia can be very high. As noted above, family caregivers are often the only people the person with dementia can depend on because they have been isolated from their peers due to their condition and may not have many friends who would be willing to help them in times of need.
Family members need support as well during this trying time. Research shows that when families receive support from others (elderly services professionals), they experience less stress than those who don’t get any outside help or assistance from others within their community (Dyckes & Dyckes-Nelson 2003).
Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are having to provide care for residents with Alzheimer’s and related dementias.
Although the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to rise to over 20 million by 2050, it is also important to note that there are a few factors which will make this estimate higher.
In addition to the rising age of our population, we are also seeing an increase in the number of people with dementia who are living longer. This can be attributed to better treatment options and more support systems.
There is another factor that must be taken into consideration when considering the future numbers: The Baby Boomer generation. The Baby Boomer generation members are starting to reach their senior years now and many will develop some form of dementia as they age. This means that as these individuals move into nursing homes or other long-term care facilities, providers need assistance finding ways for them to continue receiving proper care for their condition without putting undue stress on staff members who may not have been trained in dealing with this type of patient
Managing the behaviors and delusions of a person affected by dementia can be extremely challenging, even for trained staff in long-term care settings.
Dementia is a disease that affects the brain, causing memory loss and confusion. A person with dementia may also experience personality changes and depression.
There are many different types of dementia, each with its own symptoms. Some types of dementia can be managed by lifestyle changes like diet or exercise, while others do not have any cure.
The most common form is Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for 60% to 70% of cases; it usually occurs in people over age 65 who have had good mental function until they were in their fifties or sixties. The other 30%–40% are caused by vascular (blood vessel) blockage-related disorders such as stroke or traumatic brain injury; these conditions tend to occur in younger people than Alzheimer’s disease does (usually before age 65).
The rate at which nursing homes have implemented evidence-based practices specific to dementia is low.
The rate at which nursing homes have implemented evidence-based practices specific to dementia is low. A Cochrane Collaboration review found that only one third of the eight studies they reviewed had effective interventions.
In addition, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association noted that while most long-term care facilities implement some form of cognitive stimulation program, few use evidence-based programs and there is little research on their effectiveness.
Nursing homes that have implemented evidence-based practices have seen reduced levels of agitation and wandering among residents.
Evidence-based practices are utilized by a great many nursing homes, but not all of them. Evidence-based practices include medication, environmental changes, and staff training. For example, Alzheimer’s drugs may be able to reduce the agitation and wandering that often characterize the disease. These medications work only if they’re taken as directed by a physician or nurse; if they’re not taken regularly and correctly, they won’t be effective.
When evidence-based practices aren’t used in nursing homes, residents’ quality of life can suffer greatly—and even lead to death in some cases; however when they are implemented with consistency and carelessness can result in devastating consequences for both residents with dementia and their families.
The spread of Alzheimer’s disease is creating a huge demand for knowledge about how to deal with it
The spread of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia is creating a huge demand for knowledge about how to deal with it. There are more people with Alzheimer’s than ever before, and that means there are more family caregivers who are having trouble caring for their loved ones. Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have to provide care for residents with Alzheimer’s and related dementias.
The situation calls for new research into ways that nursing homes can improve services they offer. This will help us find better ways to deal with this growing problem in our society.
In the next decade, it will become more and more important for nursing homes to be able to provide good care for residents with Alzheimer’s disease. As this disease spreads throughout our population, family members will need help caring for loved ones with dementia—and that means more facilities will have to provide long-term care for people with Alzheimer’s. The good news is that there are many evidence-based practices that nursing homes can implement today in order to better manage behaviors and delusions associated with this condition. These practices include using visual cues to monitor wandering behaviors among residents and providing physical exercise opportunities throughout the day (instead of just at designated times).