Constructing a Health Promotion Program for Alzheimer's Research Paper

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Health Promotion Program for Alzheimer's Patients

The objective of this study is to construct a health promotion program for Alzheimer's Patients. Alzheimer's disease (AD) is "a form of dementia that interferes with a person's intellectual and social functioning." (NCPAD, 2012) One of the primary concerns for the individual with Alzheimer's is weight loss "due to eating problems such as poor-fitting dentures, problems in swallowing, and loss of appetite. Weight loss or loss of appetite may be caused by noise, odor, and/or conversation distractions while eating." (NCPAD, 2012) Caregivers are faced with many challenges in providing care for the Alzheimer's Patient. Findings in this study state that the primary components required for the health promotion program for the individual with Alzheimer's disease are those of: (1) nutrition; (2) physical activity; (3) mental activity; and (4) social activity and participation.

Health Promotion Program for Alzheimer's Patients

Introduction

The objective of this study is to construct a health promotion program for Alzheimer's Patients. Alzheimer's disease (AD) is "a form of dementia that interferes with a person's intellectual and social functioning." (NCPAD, 2012) One of the primary concerns for the individual with Alzheimer's is weight loss "due to eating problems such as poor-fitting dentures, problems in swallowing, and loss of appetite. Weight loss or loss of appetite may be caused by noise, odor, and/or conversation distractions while eating." (NCPAD, 2012) Caregivers are faced with many challenges in providing care for the Alzheimer's Patient.

I. Program Components

In the endeavor to ascertain the components that a Alzheimer's program should include to address the needs of the patient the research in this area of study is examined. It is shown in previous research that not only so nutritional needs of the Alzheimer's patient need to be addressed but also the needs of the patient for physical activity (Alzheimer's Organization, 2012) and in the area of social relations. (Berkman, 1995)

II. Physical Activity

It is reported by the Alzheimer's Association (2012) that physical exercise is critical or "maintaining good blood flow to the brain as well as to encourage new brain cells." In addition, physical exercise serves to lower the risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes and "thereby protect against those risk factors for Alzheimer's and other dementias." (Alzheimer's Association, 2012) The evidence is growing to support the fact that the physical exercise "does not have to be strenuous or even require a major time commitment. It is most effective when done regularly, and in combination with a brain-healthy diet, mental activity, and social interaction." (Alzheimer's Association, 2012)

Aerobic exercise is reported to bring about improvements in the patient's consumption of oxygen and that this serves to benefit the functioning of the brain. Furthermore, it is reported that aerobic fitness reduces the loss of brain cells in older subjects. Activities that get the individual's body moving and their heart pumping include such as "bicycling, gardening, tai chi, yoga" as well as other activities for approximately 30 minutes each day. (Alzheimer's Association, 2012)

Other physical activities that additionally require mental activity including "plotting your route, observing traffic signals, making choices…." are all activities that "provide value for brain health. And doing these activities with a companion offers the added benefit of social interaction." (Alzheimer's Association, 2012)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that there is research that shows that staying physically active is an important part of maintaining elderly health. The CDC promotes a strength-training program it calls "Growing Stronger." Growing Stronger is "an exercise program based upon sound scientific research involving strengthening exercises -- exercises that have been shown to increase the strength of your muscles, maintain the integrity of your bones, and improve your balance, coordination, and mobility. In addition, strength training can help reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic diseases, including arthritis." (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011)

II. Nutrition

According to the Alzheimer's Association, a brain-healthy diet is one that reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes, encourages good blood flow to the brain, and is low in fat and cholesterol. Like the heart, the brain needs the right balance of nutrients, including protein and sugar, to function well. A brain-healthy diet is most effective when combined with physical and mental activity and social interaction." (2012)

The individual with Alzheimer's needs to manage their body weight "for overall good health of brain and body." (Alzheimer's…[continue]

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