Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Staff Education Week is held every year from February 14 to February 21. Dementia is an umbrella term used for progressive deterioration of cognitive ability. Alzheimer’s disease is the major cause of dementia while other causes of dementia are Parkinson’s disease, severe head injury, stroke, etc. This disease causes brain atrophy which results in memory loss, mood swings, a lapse in thinking and reasoning skills, and difficulty in performing routine tasks. There is no cure for most dementia yet with proper care and medication the progression of the disease can be slowed and the quality of the patient’s life can be improved. This education week is dedicated to enlightening health healthcare workers treating Alzheimer’s disease and dementia patients on newer approaches and practices so that they can better help these patients.
History of Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Staff Education Week
Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Staff Education Week have been observed since 2007. The initiative was brought forth by the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners (N.C.C.D.P.) to bring awareness about the importance of comprehensive education about dementia to caregivers. It educates health care staff about updated practices for treating dementia patients.
The chances of Alzheimer’s disease increase with age though most patients start to experience symptoms in their 60s. The initial symptoms involve difficulty in performing routine tasks and irritability. During the later stages, the symptoms might escalate to delusion, aggression, social withdrawal, etc.
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia require a battery of tests to be medically established. These include PET, M.R.I., and C.T. scans. It also requires blood labs of B-12 and thyroid. Physicians will be able to give a diagnosis and prognosis based on these tests.
The caregiver and the families of the diagnosed person should undergo proper education and join support groups to prepare themselves for future scenarios. With this initiative of Education Week, N.C.C.D.P., aims to bring sensitivity to the ailment. It also aims to raise national and international awareness. It has been observed that with better education and training, the quality of life of dementia patients will improve rapidly.
Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Staff Education Week timeline
Dr. Alois Alzheimer notices brain tissue changes in a woman who before dying of mental illness has suffered from erratic mood swings, memory loss, and speech impairment.
Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Staff Education Week is established to help improve the quality of patients’ lives.
In the U.K., a 23-year-old man becomes the youngest person to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
An annual investment of $3.1 billion is approved by the federal government to the National Institute of Health which is a 300 million dollar increase from the year before.
Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Staff Education Week FAQs
What games are good for Alzheimer's patients?
Jigsaw puzzles, dominos, playing cards, dice, and word puzzles are good for Alzheimer’s patients.
What are some calming phrases for dementia patients?
They include “You’re safe here;” “I’m sorry that you are upset;” and “I will stay until you feel better.”
What is the difference between dementia and Alzheimer's?
Alzheimer’s is a specific disease. Dementia is not.
How to Observe Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Staff Education Week
Attend the training
The certification course organized by N.C.C.D.P. teaches effective techniques to help dementia patients at different stages. N.C.C.D.P. aims to support caregivers so that they achieve sensitivity and respect for dementia patients.
There are always other sources to educate oneself such as books and the Internet to understand the disorder and learn the best practices to help patients. Educate yourself during this week.
Help is always needed when it comes to supporting patients or families of patients after diagnosis. It can be as simple as providing emotional comfort to others.
5 Important Facts About Dementia And Alzheimer’s
A large number of patients
There are 55 million dementia patients across the world and 10 million patients are added to this every year.
Alzheimer's disease causes more
60 to 70% of dementia cases are due to Alzheimer's disease.
Causes lots of death
Dementia is the seventh leading cause of death across the world and one of the major causes of disability.
It has no cure
Alzheimer’s disease and most other dementia disorders do not have a cure.
Heart and head connection
High cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and poor diet and lifestyle increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Why Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Staff Education Week is Important
It uncovers new advancements
A person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease has three to nine years left to live according to researchers from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. However, with proper care and effective treatment, the quality of the patient’s life can be improved significantly.
A community can share experiences
Staff education week allows caregivers to share their own experiences and learn from each other. We love this.
It provides a toolkit that covers all the bases
N.C.C.D.P. ensures that Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Staff Education Week is a well-rounded program by providing toolkits that will guide healthcare providers about scenarios faced while caring for dementia patients. This is immensely important.
Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Staff Education Week dates