November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month

Alzheimer's Disease is a degenerative brain disease characterized by confusion and disorientation and the gradual loss of memory over time. It affects men and women, typically over the age of 65, but can also occur in a person's 40's or 50's, or even earlier. One in eight people age 65 or older have 'Alzheimer's disease'. With Alzheimer's disease, the earlier the diagnosis, the better; treatments that begin during the early stages of Alzheimer's can help preserve cognitive function and extend the patient's ability to function normally. Another benefit of early detection is that families have more time to prepare mentally, as well as get financial, legal, living and healthcare arrangements, such as choosing a Geriatric Nurse or care manager, in order.

With the latest advances in Alzheimer's research, there are new medications that can help with the neurological degeneration that takes place during the progression of the disease, giving seniors more time with loved ones and greatly improving their quality of life. Researchers are focusing more on the causes, treatments and prevention of Alzheimer's, as it is the sixth largest cause of death in the United States. There are also alternative treatments that have shown to benefit Alzheimer's patients. Some of these treatments include music therapy, geriatric massage or even supplements like ginkgo biloba or vitamin B-12.

When a family member or loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, it is important to know what it in store for the patient so the best care can be given. Researching medical conditions can be confusing and, at times, frightening. One of the best resources that an Alzheimer's patient can have is a caring Geriatric Nurse or care manager who not only knows the latest in treatment options and research, but can also look out for the best interests of the patient. Family members and other caregivers who need to understand the disease, treatments or other concerns can also benefit from the experience and training of a Geriatric Nurse. This specialized nursing field requires the nurse to obtain and RN plus advanced training through either online nursing programs or traditional nursing schools to obtain the specific knowledge needed to care for this population. Alzheimer's patients can lead healthy and happy lives after their diagnosis, either at home, or within an assisted living facility. The support of family, friends and a knowledgeable medical team are all important to anyone who has been diagnosed with the disease. November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month, and the goal is to make the diagnosis a little less scary through empowering the public with knowledge and resources that enable a greater understanding of the disease. Researchers continue to make great strides in the understanding of Alzheimer's, and from there, more treatments become available to help patients manage their lives and remain vital members of their families and social circles.

Program Spotlight

Earn as much as $74/hour in the Geriatric Nursing field. Kaplan University offers a self-study online geriatric care certification that can be completed in just 12 months

Kaplan University