Alzheimer’s takes a toll on more than just the patient. It also takes a toll on the caregiver’s health and finances. Also, the states’ healthcare infrastructure will be strained with some states seeing a more than 80 percent increase of Alzheimer’s residents by 2025. What are some of the other issues with Alzheimer’s and its increasing toll?
- Not only does Alzheimer’s disease cause memory loss but it also causes the body to forget how to function. The cause of death from Alzheimer’s is mainly from the inability to remember how to move and how to swallow.
- If Alzheimer’s is diagnosed earlier, than the patient have less hospital visits but has more doctor visits for get better earlier care. However, the care plan that can have the most effect on the quality of life isn’t always done when needed most. Signs of Alzheimer’s, such as mood and behavior changes are often diagnosed as something else which narrows or closes the window for an effective care plan.
- There are higher out of pocket costs with an Alzheimer’s patient, almost 30 percent higher, for patients 65 or older than people without the disease. As the disease progresses, the costs go up too. Specialized care is needed which usually results in 24 hour nursing home care.
- Most Alzheimer’s patients have additional medical issues which make things more complicated. 60 percent have hypertension, 23 percent have diabetes and 18 percent have osteoporosis. Because of the Alzheimer’s, this complicates the treatment of these other chronic diseases. An Alzheimer’s patient will not remember to monitor his blood sugar or take his insulin either or be aware of what he or she is eating.
- Family caregivers are hit hard too in the health department. There is a higher level of stress hormones, the immune function is reduced and hypertension can develop as well as heart disease in a caregiver which is a family member. The caregivers also tend to isolate themselves from other people because of the all-enveloping care which is needed for the family member with Alzheimer’s. The caregivers are stretched to their limits over this long term caregiving.
- Caregivers also do the job for free plus they are paying an average of $219 a month for out of pocket expenses. They have the stress of caregiving, trying to make ends meet with reduced hours and have extra expenses on top of that. No wonder there is a health crisis among the family caregivers.
A cure for Alzheimer’s isn’t in the near future. The best thing to be aware of is the subtle signs of the disease in the early stages to slow the disease down. To reduce the stress on a family caregiver, respite care needs to be taken so the caregiver can take a much deserved break too.
For more information about Pipestone Place Assisted Living in San Antonio, TX or to take a tour, call today (210) 718-0211.
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