DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Alzheimer’s Disease is an irreversible brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and is most common among older adults.
“Alzheimer’s dementia is one of the most common types and whether or not the person lives in one of our dementia units or households there are still a number of residents that have other levels of dementia, so it’s real common in the nursing homes,” said the executive director of Wesley Place, Dan March.
Wesley Place currently houses several patients suffering from dementia. An estimated 6.2 million Americans age 65 or older are living with the disease and 72 percent are older than 75 years old.
Dan March with Wesley Place says working with dementia patients can be difficult but the first step is having empathy.
“They function at the feeling level and you cant just tell em why they need to do something because they don’t function in a rational way,” He said. “They dont understand the why answers but they do understand someone being patient with them taking them by the hand.”
March says it’s also important to keep their minds stimulated by having them to do yard work, playing games, or listening to music.
Monday, the FDA approved the first-ever treatment for Alzheimer’s since 2003. Researchers say the treatment will remove plaque from the brain.
“That would be revolutionary that would change society and change the industry that we’re in it would change people lives,” March said.