Dementia And The Elderly Essay

Length: 2 pages Sources: 2 Subject: Death and Dying  (general) Type: Essay Paper: #52551716 Related Topics: Alzheimers, Elderly, Department Of Veterans Affairs, Physical Therapy

Excerpt from Essay :

¶ … Alzheimer's disease afflicts more than 16 million individuals in the United States, but the etiology of this condition remains unclear (Sullivan, 2010). What is known is that Alzheimer's affects black Americans twice as often as whites and Hispanics 1.5 times as often, and this discrepancy is believed to be attributed to lower socioeconomic status and higher rates of chronic illness among minority populations (Sullivan, 2010). The case study in question concerns a retired postal worker, "Gene," who is a 100% disabled 73-year-old African-American veteran living in Cleveland. In 2011, Gene's wife of 50 years, "Shirley," died leaving him living alone for the first time in his adult life. At the time of Shirley's death, Gene had been diagnosed with early stage dementia but had been able to remain active and living independently for a period of one year in a long-term care retirement center. During his military service in World War II, Gene received a shrapnel wound to the side of his head that made him deaf in his right ear. For this injury, Gene received a 100% total and permanent disability


Following surgical reduction of the break, Gene's condition rapidly deteriorated and he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and moved into an intensive care facility in the community, an increasingly common intervention for the elderly with this condition (Zimmerman & Sloan, 2009). Gene's diabetes (more common in African-Americans compared to whites), gender and race are thought to have placed him at especially high risk for Alzheimer's (Sullivan, 2010). Since the onset of Alzheimer's, Gene's ability to communicate orally has diminished severely despite speech therapy sessions, but he also receives regular physical therapy and has regained the ability to walk for short distances while holding onto the back of a wheelchair with the assistance of a nursing aide for a period of time before becoming bedfast. Although Gene's family members visit him every week for short periods of time, he does not recognize many of them on occasion and appears confused whenever someone speaks to…

Sources Used in Documents:


Sullivan, M.G. (2010, April). Alzheimer's disease risk in blacks is twice that of whites. Clinical Psychiatry News, 38(4), 3.

Zimmerman, S.I. & Sloane, P.D. (2009, Fall). Optimum residential care for people with dementia. Generations, 23(3), 62-69.

Cite this Document:

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