#DidYouKnow – Alzheimer’s Disease
This neurodegenerative disease isn’t well understood; why people get it is uncertain and there’s no cure. What’s known is that a failure in normal protein functions causes it. This leads to a disruption of brain cell operation and toxic cascade, which causes the cells to die. Ultimately, the brain shrinks. All this results in a pattern of progressive cognitive and functional impairment. The average lifespan of a person with Alzheimer’s disease is 3-9 years after diagnosis.
Alzheimer’s disease is important to me. I trained as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) in my younger years and worked in a Geriatric Alzheimer’s lock-down unit. Later, I helped when my grandmother dealt with the disease. Now, my father-in-law is facing it. I know how difficult it is from both sides of the medical table – clinical and family. My words of advice are to educate yourself as best you can and to remember that it takes the entire care team (medical staff, family, and friends) to support the victims (patient and loved ones) of this hellacious disease.