Special Issue: CSA Journal 81

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of irreversible, progressive symptoms of dementia. Understanding disease progression can promote therapeutic communication and improve the quality of life for those struggling with this disorder. By Karen Gilbert, DNP, MS, RN, CDP

Dr. Karen Gilbert, DNP

Dr. Karen L. Gilbert DNP MS RN
Certified Dementia Practitioner

 

Karen Gilbert serves as a Vice President for Alzheimer’s Community Care. She is a Certified Alzheimer’s disease trainer from the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and is a Certified Dementia Practitioner from the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners. Karen completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in 2019. Karen received her Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York and holds a Master of Science degree from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Karen L. Gilbert DNP RN MS CDP can be reached at kgilbert@alzcare.org 561-683-2700 Ext. 119.

This article is reprinted with permission.
Source: CSA Journal, No. 81 / Vol. 4, 2020
www.csa.us


BY Karen L. Gilbert, DNP, MS, RN, CDP

With almost six million known patients in the United States and an aging population suggesting that this number may reach 14 million by the year 2050, understanding Alzheimer’s disease (AD) as a chronic illness is critical to refining concepts of care (Alzheimer’s Association, 2020, p. 406). Integrating AD within the realm of chronic disease is not as uniform as one might believe. Notwithstanding an estimated 44 million people with AD worldwide, the World Health Organization does not include AD in its list of “main” chronic illnesses (World Health Organization, 2005, p. 35). Many millions more people are touched by this devastating condition, including spouses and caregivers, often without the knowledge and support they need to make the most of this time. Professionals can play a vital role in assisting families through the various challenging stages of AD, provided they have an understanding of its aspects.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of irreversible, progressive symptoms of dementia. Understanding disease progression can promote therapeutic communication and improve the quality of life for those struggling with this disorder.

 

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