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5N2706: Alzheimer’s disease is a brain ailment that gradually impairs thinking and memory abilities as well as the capacity to do even the most basic tasks: Care of the Older Person Coursework, OU, Ireland

University The Open University (OU)
Subject 5N2706: Care of The Older Person

Alzheimer’s disease


Alzheimer’s disease is a brain ailment that gradually impairs thinking and memory abilities as well as the capacity to do even the most basic tasks. According to current theories, the aberrant protein build-up in and around brain cells is what causes Alzheimer’s disease. Plaque-encircling brain cells are made of amyloid protein, one of the involved proteins.

Instead of memory issues, the first indication may be issued with vision or language.

1.      Age – After age 65, the risk of Alzheimer’s disease increases every five years.

2.      Family History – Your risk of acquiring Alzheimer’s disease may be increased slightly by the genes you inherited from your parents, albeit this increase in risk is not significant.

3.      Down’s Syndrome Individuals with Down’s disorder are at a higher gamble of fostering Alzheimer’s illness.

4.      This is because the hereditary changes that reason Down’s disorder can likewise make amyloid plaques develop in the cerebrum over the long run, which can prompt Alzheimer’s illness in certain individuals.

Prevalence of the illness in Ireland and worldwide
In Ireland, there are 64,000 people with dementia in Ireland. It is estimated that there are over 4,000 under the age of sixty-five with dementia.

While in 2019 in the UK there was an estimate of over 850,000 with dementia. This means 1 in every 14 of the population aged 65 years and over. As we can see the UK has more dementia people with a difference of 786,000 through statistics.

“The overall picture is extremely stark as Ireland now faces a full-blown public health crisis with a predicted 141,200 people living with dementia in Ireland by 2050,”

Describe how culture and ethical issues impact the disease

In Ireland, Alzheimer’s is an illness and in other countries, they would call it part of aging in which they would not, receive medical treatment or be placed in the care of the health care service. This can impact the treatment as a person may need the treatment, but it is not available because it is their culture of aging.

“Epidemiological studies have dealt with consent issues in cognitively impaired populations with low baseline educational attainment or culturally diverse populations. Furthermore, there are often privacy and confidentiality issues in field settings, issues around medical care, and rehabilitative measures for identified persons with dementia

Discuss the client’s care needs in terms of physical, Emotional, and intellectual needs.

  • Physical needs – A client’s physical needs are going to have a significant impact on their later life with Alzheimer’s disease. The client may gradually lose their ability to walk, stand, and get in or out of bed. In terms of their safety, they may need risk assessments done as they are more likely to fall, Bed rails on the side of the bed for night-time with 1-1 support. Speech and language therapist for eating and drinking.
  • Emotional – A client’s Emotional needs are going to have a significant impact on their life, clients with dementia will continue to need loving, a safe caring relationship, it is important to ensure clients have time to do the activities they enjoy or that give them purpose, so this will not affect their emotion.
  • Intellectual – A client Intellectual need with Alzheimer’s may need to be stimulated in diverse ways, they may not be able to read a book but be able to fold towels, help with the housework, or play games. It is important to enable the person to continue to make their own choices about their day. The care needs of an intellectual Alzheimer’s client are to support the client to drink fluids regularly to keep hydrated, this will help keep the client’s brain active with mentally stimulating activities.

Describe the potential changes that may need to be made due to the diagnosis of the illness

Alzheimer’s slowly progresses into three general stages such age early, middle, and late.

  • Early stage

A person with Alzheimer’s may be able to function on their own in the initial stages. He or she may continue to engage in social events, work, and drive. Despite this, the individual could experience memory lapses, such as forgetting where familiar words or everyday objects are located.

At this point, symptoms might not be particularly obvious, but family members and close friends might detect something, and a doctor could spot symptoms using certain diagnostic techniques.


  • Having difficulty performing tasks in social or work settings
  • Producing the right word or name.
  • Forgetting material that was just read.
  • Remember names when introduced to new people
  • Middle stage

The most prolonged stage of Alzheimer’s, the middle stage can endure for many years. The Alzheimer’s patient will need a higher level of care as the condition worsens.

The dementia symptoms worsen throughout the middle stage of Alzheimer’s. The individual might mispronounce phrases, lose their temper, or act in unexpected ways, including refusing to take a shower. It may be challenging for the person to express their thoughts and carry out simple tasks without assistance if there is damage to the brain’s nerve cells.


  • Having trouble controlling their bladder and bowels.
  • Showing an increased tendency to wander and become lost.
  • Demonstrating personality and behavioural changes, including suspiciousness and delusions or compulsive, repetitive like handwringing or tissue shredding.
  • Experiencing changes in sleep patterns, such as sleeping during the day and becoming restless at night.
  • Late stage

Dementia symptoms are worse when the disease is in its latter stage. People start to lose their ability to react to their surroundings, converse, and eventually, regulate their movements. Even if they may still use words or phrases, it gets harder for them to express their pain. People may have substantial personality changes and require intensive care as their memory and cognitive abilities continue to deteriorate.


  • Have difficulty communicating.
  • Require around-the-clock assistance with daily personal care.
  • ​Lose awareness of recent experiences as well as of their surroundings.
  • Experience changes in physical abilities, including walking, sitting, and, eventually, swallowing.

Discuss your role in the care of the client

Although enjoyable, caring for patients with dementia can often be intimidating and difficult. As the sickness worsens, it is necessary to frequently evaluate and identify their needs. Dementia significantly impairs intellectual functioning, interfering with daily activities and relationships and necessitating a significant increase in the requirement for routine support and personal assistance. A dementia patient’s caregiver must be realistic about their abilities to help both the patient and their family, who also require care. The caregiver’s job is to provide growth- and caring-centered care that is person-centered, personalized to the needs of each client, and person-centered A caregiver will help the client with their:

  • Fundamental physical needs, such as feeding and encouraging adequate hydration,
  • immediate needs, such as personal care: dressing, continence management, and
  • Emotional support needs, such as company and involvement in social activities and hobbies.

Discuss the role:

  • The care service has in the client’s overall care

For those who have been diagnosed with dementia, there are several specialized care facilities with qualified staff, nurses, healthcare assistants, housekeeping, support workers, who are aware of the difficulties these individuals face daily. Depending on the severity of their dementia, individuals may get care from family members or trained caregivers in their own homes, in public or private care facilities, local day-care centres, memory clinics, or dementia villages.

Respite care

An opportunity to relax or spend time with other friends and family members is one thing that respite care may offer.

Time for errands like shopping, working out, getting a haircut, or visiting the doctor. Comfort and assurance that the dementia patient is spending time with a kind person.

With the help of respite care services, a person with dementia may:

Interact with people going through the same comparison.

Spend time in a secure, encouraging setting. Making sure the setting feels like home for them.

They will be able to take part in activities suited to their needs and ability. Supervised walks to clear their heads and to get them out.

For clients in respite care their safety is not at risk, carers are there to provide meals, and nurses and doctors to provide any medication or medical care There is 1-1 help with helping clients get in and out of the bed, making sure they are eating and getting enough nutrients.

  • Other members of the care team (MDT) have in the client’s overall care.

A multidisciplinary team is a group of qualified healthcare workers from various medical specialties who provide effective and efficient dementia care and specific services to people with dementia in accordance with their care plans, such as nurses who can assess the condition and develop a care plan, healthcare assistants who can help with personal needs, establish routines, engage in reminiscence therapies, and SALT.

Discuss three services that can improve the quality of care of the client e.g., day centers, evening classes, social groups, etc. Specifically needs related to the illness chosen.

  1. Alzheimer’s Café –

Alzheimer Cafes is a friendly environment where persons with dementia, their loved ones, and social workers can come together to share knowledge and experiences.

The cafes offer a relaxed setting for meeting people who have dementia as well as health and social care professionals. Each month, a professional speaker is typically invited to speak at the cafe about a topic of interest. However, the cafe is also a place where people may discuss and have fun socializing in a welcoming setting.

  1. Day care services –

The day-care service works with each person to ensure they feel comfortable and supported and their individual needs are met as far as possible. There are many activities including:

  • reminiscence therapy
  • music sessions
  • gentle exercises
  • arts and crafts
  • personal care

The day-care service includes a hot lunch and transport is provided by many centers.

  1. Social groups –

Social Clubs are for people with dementia, their families, or carers.

The Club is a social gathering which takes place once a week where people can drop into chat, access information and support, meet other people as well as exchange ideas and experiences. The Clubs also plan activities, organize outings, and provide an informal, flexible, and fun opportunity for people with dementia and their carer or family member to meet others in a supported environment.


Planning for end-of-life care is an important aspect of the care of clients:

  1. Discuss the appropriate way to approach the subject of end-of-life with the client.

Location: It is important to have a comfortable secluded setting area. Make sure the client knows what you are discussing and is feeling well to discuss the topic. “If something happened, would you like this song played at your funeral?

Communication- Make sure to ask the right question and that it is especially important to ask them if are they religious., Do they want a religious ceremony? who do you want me to talk to about this is there any certain family members you would like me to discuss this with? and do you have a will made out?

  1. How and where can you gather the information in a sensitive and caring manner?

Their care plan is to gather information by asking the right questions, do it at an appropriate time do not ask a family member who may not be ready for the conversation ask you could get a lot of anger back. Get the right person to do it such as their GP, the nurse, or their care assistant. Active listening is particularly important as it may be in a passing statement, they could have mentioned it while you helped them get into bed. Make sure to pass this information on to the nurse in charge so they can put the end of the care plan and let the family know as well.

Detail two health promotion initiatives that you could implement with the client, specifically related to the illness chosen.

  1. maintaining a healthy mind and social life

There is some evidence to show that persons who are mentally and socially engaged throughout their lives have lower rates of dementia. Your chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia may be decreased by:

  • reading
  • acquiring language skill
  • musical instrument playing
  • participating in team sports, like bowling
  • keeping up a busy social life

Research has indicated that interventions like “brain training” computer games can improve cognition over a brief period, but it is not yet clear whether this can help prevent dementia.

Dementia and diet

The risk: consuming a diet high in saturated fat, salt, and sugar while being low in fibre can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Depression and dementia

The danger Depression and dementia have a complicated relationship. There is evidence that untreated depression raises the risk of dementia. Depression, however, might occur as one of dementia’s primary symptoms.

Nevertheless, being depressed, anxious, or anxious can limit your capacity for social interaction and intellectually engaging tasks.

Consult a doctor if you are worried that you, a friend, or a family member may be depressed

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