Alzheimer Disease: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment & Financial Planning
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Alzheimer Disease: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment & Financial Planning
Posted On : 09 March 2021, 6 Months Ago. Health-wellness
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Alzheimer’s disease is a long-term illness in which the death of brain cells leads to memory loss and degeneration of cognitive abilities. This neurological disorder is a form of dementia that causes issues related to thinking, memory and overall behaviour. It progresses gradually and the condition of the patient worsens over time. At its most severe, it interferes with daily life making it so difficult for the patient to even carry normal conversations and may require round-the-clock assistance. We can see older patients in particular suffer with this condition. Since this ailment counts as a critical illness, it is essential to plan your finances well if you have to cope with the expenses that accompany the disease.  Besides the impact on your health, such diseases can also take a huge toll on your financial well-being and stability. Read on to understand the causes, symptoms, treatment and financial planning strategies for Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease

 

As with other types of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease is a result of the death of brain cells. Progressive cell death is spread out over time, and it is a neurodegenerative disease. Over time, the patient has fewer and fewer nerve cells or connections.

 

The primary causes of this disease would include:

 

1. Diabetes

2. Family history

3. Stroke

4. Obesity

5. High blood pressure

6. Heart diseases

7. Smoking

 

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

 

The disease progression takes place in three stages -

 

1. Preclinical:  before the symptoms start showing

2. Mild cognitive impairment: symptoms are mild

3. Dementia: symptoms have become extremely severe

 

The diagnosis for this disease requires spotting impaired cognitive functioning and behavioural performance.

 

For this diagnosis, the patient needs to have shown at least two of the following five symptoms of Alzheimer:

 

1. Weaker visuospatial ability or skills (not due to vision issues). For example- being unable to spot objects in the surroundings.

2. Weaker judgment, reasoning and complex task abilities. For example- not understanding safety risks.

3. Inability to take in as well as memorize new data from surroundings. For example - forgetting dates, appointments, roads.

4. Impaired writing, speech and reading abilities. For example- not knowing common words, writing errors.

5. Personality/behavioural changes. For example- behaviour that is socially unacceptable or inappropriate.

 

Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease

 

Although this life-long disease has no cure yet, therapeutic interventions and timely treatment can help patients lead a decent quality life as they battle this disease -

 

1. Participating in clinical trials.

2. Trying alternative medicine.

3. Attending regular health check-ups and managing other health conditions too.

4. Following healthcare programs and recommended activities.

5. Leading a healthy and active lifestyle, mentally and physically.

6. Forming a support network, and a safe environment for the patient. Reaching out to others for help, support and assistance.

7. Physical/occupational/speech therapy.

8. Stop smoking and other unhealthy habits.

 

Financial Planning for Alzheimer’s Disease

 

As Alzheimer's is a degenerative disease and worsens with time, it is difficult to predict the future. Dealing with this disease inevitably involves planning for your finances with the future in mind, for your own and your family’s security. You can reach out to financial managers or medical lawyers who can assist you with planning keeping this particular disease in mind.

 

 

Conclusion:

 

It is important to also assess the existing healthcare provisions in place for Alzheimer’s like treatments to include medication, clinical trials, therapy, support group networks, hospice or home care, 24x7 nursing facilities. Depending on your preferences, doctor’s recommendations and financial situation, you will be able to figure out what kind of security you require.

You could opt for a health insurance plan or critical illness insurance plan in order to secure your financial stability. If it runs in the family, the risk for Alzheimer’s increases and hence one should plan ahead based on family medical history. While buying a health insurance plan, ensure that you understand the inclusions and exclusions from the coverage of your plan. In case you are unemployed and don’t have any coverage, it is recommended that you seek the highest possible coverage available.

If you are employed, consult your employer and insurer regarding short or long-term disability insurance. Also consider the benefits and services/expenses covered under the policy such as hospitalization expenses, medication fees, check-up fees, nursing home or hospice care, therapy, nursing facilities, etc.

 

 

Sources:

 

https://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/guide/financial-planning

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