Lynda C Abusamra
The battle against polypharmacy, or the use of a
large number of drugs (of the action of which
we know little, yet we put them into bodies
of the action of which we know less), has not
been brought to a finish.
Effective management of patients with Alzheimer's disease is dependent on many things. Good interpersonal relationships between caregivers and patients, and whether the person is a family caregiver or a professional caregiver are fundamental to effective care. These relationships must occur in a supportive environment, whether that environment is home, a respite care center, a day care, a long-term carp facility, or an acute care agency. The "fit" between the patient and his or her environment must be arranged to maximize the patient's functioning. Attention to these factors, along with an appropriate balance of activity and quiet, can positively maximize the patient's functional repertoire. Potential dysfunctional and/or disruptive behaviors can be kept to a minimum.
TREATING THE PERSON
Although persons with Alzheimer's disease have cognitive deficits and may have concurrent depression, personality changes, and gradual impairment in other functional abilities and domains, most patients retain a sense of humor and emotional sensitivity until relatively late in the disease process. Thus, it is of paramount importance to remember to treat the person who has this chronic, progressive, debilitating disease, rather than merely treating the chronic disease. In the course of caregiving, it is easy to focus on the negative behaviors and weaknesses of the patient while ignoring or discounting the positive strengths and events that occur in the course of a day. Recent research suggests that