This topic was presented at one of Guardian Pharmacy of Atlanta’s personal care communities during a family night education series they were hosting in July. It was well received, and is a pertinent topic for anyone dealing with dementia in their family. Alzheimer’s type dementia is the most prevalent type of dementia currently diagnosed.
An estimated 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016. It is believed that 5.2 million of these Americans are 65 years of age and older, and this number will continue to escalate as more and more of the Baby Boomer Generation reaches this age bracket. Alzheimer’s dementia is officially listed as the sixth leading cause of death, and sadly is the only disease among the top ten causes of death in America that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two types of medications to treat the cognitive symptoms (memory loss, confusion, and problems with thinking and reasoning) of Alzheimer’s disease. Although many other types of medications are used, there are multiple side effects and other problems associated with using some of these medications. Many of the medications can actually worsen the condition.
As the individual and their loved ones began to recognize the signs that may point towards Alzheimer’s disease, both parties are challenged to face emotional and behavioral changes exhibited by the individual—the loss of memories, abilities, and independence.
This is a very timely topic, and the knowledge gained from this presentation may help lessen the frustration of both the family and the Alzheimer’s patient. If you have questions regarding this topic or other presentations, about how a long term care pharmacist can help, or the services provided by Guardian Pharmacy of Atlanta, please call Lori Newcomb at 404-309-4958.