DEVELOPMENT OF A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO ASSISTING FAMILIES WITH AN ALZHEIMER ' S SUFFERER

  • I. Anstey Nelson Mandela University
  • M. Anstey Nelson Mandela University
Keywords: Alzheimer, declining cognitive abilities, emotional distress, Alzheimer's Disease (AD)

Abstract

Alzheimer's is an irreversible degenerative disease in which brain cells die and are not replaced . It re sults in progressive impairment of memory, declining cognitive abilities, emotional distress and eventually, death. From an eco-systemic perspective the patient in an illness such as Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is the family rather than the sufferer alone. An intense period of suffering is experienced by all in the caring network as a sufferer progressively loses mental faculties,. emotional balance and motor abilities. This demands a more holistic response than simply medical management of the patient. Doctors, however, are often the first professionals to become aware of a patient's declining capacities, and possibly as much through reports by family members as from direct assessment of the patient. Within the evolution of a comprehensive response to AD, then, medical practitioners occupy a gatekeeper role. In tracking the evolution of support services for AD sufferers over a period of time in the Nelson Mandela Metropole, this article gives particular attention to a survey of general practitioners and physicians as well as psychiatrists and neurologists who explored, inter alia, their knowledge and use of support groups as part of treatment plans and their attitude to a holistic treatment approach.

Author Biographies

I. Anstey, Nelson Mandela University
Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
M. Anstey, Nelson Mandela University
Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Published
2005-05-03
How to Cite
Anstey, I., & Anstey, M. (2005). DEVELOPMENT OF A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO ASSISTING FAMILIES WITH AN ALZHEIMER ’ S SUFFERER. Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk, 41(3), 296-305. https://doi.org/10.15270/41-3-1030
Section
Articles