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Alzheimer's Disease Medications Fact Sheet | National Institute on Aging

Alzheimer's Disease Medications Fact Sheet | National Institute on Aging
Alzheimer's Disease Medications Fact Sheet

Several prescription drugs are currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat people who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Treating the symptoms of Alzheimer’s can provide patients with comfort, dignity, and independence for a longer period of time and can encourage and assist their caregivers as well.

It is important to understand that none of these medications stops the disease itself.

For information about managing medicines for people with Alzheimer's disease, read the tip sheet Managing Medicines (PDF, 625K).
Volunteers—people with Alzheimer's or mild cognitive impairment and healthy individuals—are needed to participate in Alzheimer's clinical research. Learn more about participating in clinical trials.

Treatment for Mild to Moderate Alzheimer’s

Medications called cholinesterase inhibitors are prescribed for mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. These drugs may help delay or prevent symptoms from becoming worse for a limited time and may help control some behavioral symptoms. The medications include: Razadyne® (galantamine), Exelon® (rivastigmine), and Aricept® (donepezil). Another drug, Cognex® (tacrine), was the first approved cholinesterase inhibitor but is rarely prescribed today due to safety concerns.

Scientists do not yet fully understand how cholinesterase inhibitors work to treat Alzheimer’s disease, but research indicates that they prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, a brain chemical believed to be important for memory and thinking. As Alzheimer’s progresses, the brain produces less and less acetylcholine; therefore, cholinesterase inhibitors may eventually lose their effect.

No published study directly compares these drugs. Because they work in a similar way, switching from one of these drugs to another probably will not produce significantly different results. However, an Alzheimer’s patient may respond better to one drug than another.

Treatment for Moderate to Severe Alzheimer’s

A medication known as Namenda® (memantine), an N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist, is prescribed to treat moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease. This drug’s main effect is to delay progression of some of the symptoms of moderate to severe Alzheimer’s.

It may allow patients to maintain certain daily functions a little longer than they would without the medication. For example, Namenda® may help a patient in the later stages of the disease maintain his or her ability to use the bathroom independently for several more months, a benefit for both patients and caregivers.

Namenda® is believed to work by regulating glutamate, an important brain chemical. When produced in excessive amounts, glutamate may lead to brain cell death. Because NMDA antagonists work very differently from cholinesterase inhibitors, the two types of drugs can be prescribed in combination.
The FDA has also approved Aricept® for the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease.

Dosage and Side Effects

Doctors usually start patients at low drug doses and gradually increase the dosage based on how well a patient tolerates the drug. There is some evidence that certain patients may benefit from higher doses of the cholinesterase inhibitors. However, the higher the dose, the more likely are side effects. The recommended effective dosages of drugs prescribed to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and the drugs’ possible side effects are summarized in the table (see below).
Patients should be monitored when a drug is started. Report any unusual symptoms to the prescribing doctor right away. It is important to follow the doctor’s instructions when taking any medication, including vitamins and herbal supplements. Also, let the doctor know before adding or changing any medications.

Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center
A Service of the National Institute on Aging
National Institutes of Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
November 2008
Publication Date: July 2010
Page Last Updated: March 22, 2013

National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP)

The Purpose of the Program and How it Works

The National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP), established in 2000, provides grants to States and Territories, based on their share of the population aged 70 and over, to fund a range of supports that assist family and informal caregivers to care for their loved ones at home for as long as possible.

Families are the major provider of long-term care, but research has shown that caregiving exacts a heavy emotional, physical and financial toll. Many caregivers who work and provide care experience conflicts between these responsibilities. Twenty two percent of caregivers are assisting two individuals, while eight percent are caring for three or more. Almost half of all caregivers are over age 50, making them more vulnerable to a decline in their own health, and one-third describe their own health as fair to poor.

The NFCSP offers a range of services to support family caregivers. Under this program, States shall provide five types of services:

information to caregivers about available services,
assistance to caregivers in gaining access to the services,
individual counseling, organization of support groups, and caregiver training,
respite care, and
supplemental services, on a limited basis

Alzheimer's Day Care at Night guide to establishing Evening-Daycare.

Carers often experience chronic sleep deprivation 
There may be (i.e. can be, should be) relief for caregivers and families.

Comments regarding evening-day-care {and daycare-at-night}

Find a comment link at the bottom where you can reply with a comment. You can also reply to the comments as well. We encourage you to do so! You’ll just need to enter your name and email.

Please ask questions, post thoughts or even write your own mini-blog entry (in the form of a comment).

To submit a post for this blog – please contact admin daycareatnight @ gmail.com

Because a lot of caring is done by family members, it's assumed anyone can do it. | Carers Chill4us

Because a lot of caring is done by family members, it's assumed anyone can do it. | Carers Chill4us


Carers come in all shapes and sizes, and as more and more of us fail to die on time, the demand for them is going to increase. But according to a survey, only a third of those working in the NHS believe they are properly supervised, and nine out of 10 want to be registered, as nurses are. Which might be a step in the right direction, but doesn’t address the basic trouble: that caring has no real status.

Some carers are little short of saints, but because a lot of caring is inevitably done by family members, it’s assumed anyone can do it, and too many are simply doing it because it’s the only job going, with no sense of vocation, precious little pay, and too often expected to fit half an hour’s care into 20 minutes. They are, in terms of status, about where nursing was pre-Florence Nightingale: in a job that very few would choose above all other occupations.

The Skills Academy for Social Care is recruiting graduates to be fast-tracked into management, but caring won’t improve until carers themselves, and not just well-educated outsiders, can aim for a real career structure and proper recognition in terms of pay.

Carers get a hairdresser at the new dementia cafe opened in Norwich | Carers Chill4us

Carers get a hairdresser at the new dementia cafe opened in Norwich | Carers Chill4us: dementia café has been opened in the Norwich area.

Age UK Norfolk’s drop in cafe initiative taking place at Hammerton Court, Norwich. Getting to know one another in during an introduction to Cognititve Stimulation Therapy.

The café, at the Hammerton Court dementia care unit in Bowthorpe Road, follows similar initiatives in Costessey, Diss and Horstead.

The Pabulum Cafe opens will run on the third Wednesday of every month from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

The café offers people the chance to drop in and stay for as long as they wish.
A hairdresser is also available, providing an opportunity for carers attending the café to have their hair cut without having to arrange care cover.
Age UK Norfolk’s drop in cafe initiative taking place at Hammerton Court, Norwich. Getting to know one another in during an introduction to Cognititve Stimulation Therapy.

For more information about the café, call 01603 785241 or see www.ageuknorfolk.org.uk

DayCare at Night programs serving Alzheimer's Caregivers

Night Care Registry: DayCare listing Night programs serving Alzheimer's Caregivers
Carers often experience chronic sleep deprivation. At the onset of nighttime. The demons of anxiety, anger, fear, hallucinations and paranoia come out. Night time can be unpredictable, up and down cycles.

Please email "daycareatnight at gmail.com" to add programs.

UKGeriActive catalogue of activity ideas


A-Z of Activity

Ideas In the following pages you will find a catalogue of activity ideas for you to use just click on the image and away you go

The Caregiver’s Bill of Rights | Alzheimer's Reading Room

The Caregiver’s Bill of Rights | Alzheimer's Reading Room: Whether they realize it or not caregivers do have rights – lots of them.

This list has been circulating on the internet for a long time and is attributed to various persons.

This version was taken from www.caregivers.utah.gov, where it is attributed to Jo Horne.

Whether you have seen it previously or not, it is always worth repeating and sharing

  • To take care of myself. Caregiving is not an act of selfishness. It will give me the capability of taking better care of my loved one.
  • To seek help from others even though my loved ones may object. Only I can recognize the limits of my endurance and strength.
  • To maintain facets of my life that do not include the person I care for, just as I would if he or she were healthy. I know that I do everything that I reasonably can for this person, and I have the right to do some things just for myself.
  • To get angry, be depressed, and express other difficult feelings occasionally.
  • To reject any attempts by my loved one (either conscious or unconscious) to manipulate me through guilt, and/or depression.
  • To receive consideration, affection, forgiveness, and acceptance for what I do, from my loved ones, for as long as I offer these qualities in return.
  • To take pride in what I am accomplishing and to applaud the courage it has sometimes taken to meet the needs of my loved one.
  • To protect my individuality and my right to make a life for myself that will sustain me in the time when my loved one no longer needs my full-time help.
  • To expect and demand that as new strides are made in finding resources to aid physically- and mentally-impaired persons in our country, similar strides will be made towards aiding and supporting caregivers.

Accepting Alzheimers, Coping in Alzheimers World | Alzheimer's Reading Room

Accepting Alzheimers, Coping in Alzheimers World | Alzheimer's Reading Room: Accepting Alzheimers, Coping in Alzheimers World

Did you ever wonder why most Alzheimer's patients stick like glue to their caregiver? Call out their name when they can't see them? Want to know where you are when they can't see you?

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Accepting Alzheimer's Coping
When a person has Alzheimer's disease or another type of dementia they are often difficult to understand. The behaviors they express are often difficult to accept.

It be be very hard to deal with a person suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

It is hard to understand that a person can't remember. Harder to accept that when they can't remember, they will do things that are completely foreign to your frame of reference.

Each of us has emotions and feelings. Alzheimer's has a way of bringing out the worst of these feelings and emotions.

The challenge -- learning to deal with a person living with Alzheimer's on their own terms. Learning to deal with Alzheimer's disease.


Many caregivers come to the conclusion that the person living with Alzheimer's is not the person they knew. Knew most or all of their life.

Is it possible to deal with a stranger? Is this supposed stranger likable?

Can you like someone that continually makes you angry, frustrated and sad?

See what is happening? You make the situation about you. This is not the person I knew. I knew.

But Alzheimer's caregiving is not only about you. It is also about the person living with the disease.

The "live -R" cannot help or change the way they are acting. But, you can change the way you are acting or feeling.

Sooner or later you have to start by reminding yourself this is my Mom, this is my Dad, this is my Husband, this is my Wife.

Here is something I learned on the Alzheimer's Reading Room. Alzheimer's caregivers want, try hard, to give the person living with AD the highest quality of life possible.

Striving for this goal is difficult. Near the beginning, it seems impossible for most of us.

Carers to get a break as new service launched - Local Headlines - Deeside Piper and Herald

Carers to get a break as new service launched - Local Headlines - Deeside Piper and Herald: “Respite is essential. We recently got access to the Creative Breaks Fund through the Scottish Government and the Change Fund. It can be used flexibly to help carers have a short holiday, pay for leisure or gardening equipment or enjoy a bit of pampering. It can be a chance to have a break from their caring role or spend quality time with the person they care for. It means they can rest and recharge their batteries as well as trying a new skill or picking up an old hobby. I’d urge any local carers to get in touch as soon as possible to get support in applying for this funding.”

“For short-term respite we’re working in partnership with Alzheimer Scotland to offer relaxation sessions for carers at Victory Hall in Aboyne.”

Defining Non-Medical Home Care for Seniors | In Home Care for Elders

Defining Non-Medical Home Care for Seniors | In Home Care for Elders
Home Care is a service that assists those in need to continue living and celebrating life from the comfort of their own home. Home care is a model of care that includes both professional and informal support networks that include family, neighbors, and friends. To remain independent, these individuals construct your ‘Care Team’ which work together to meet your goals and expected outcomes. At some point, you may determine that a professional Home Care company is needed to join your Care Team.
Considering your options

When selecting a Home Care services company, you will have many questions. The first thing to understand is that Home Care services vary from facility-based options. Chances are if you’re researching senior care you’ve heard a lot about senior housing options such as a nursing home, assisted living community, adult day care, retirement community, or continuing care retirement community (or CCRC). These elderly care options all have unique benefits, however, at home care is often the preferred choice for seniors who wish to age in place at their own home. Your financial, social, and health situation will often determine which environment you choose.

Choosing the right care for loved ones is an important decision and it starts with knowing when to call. Professional care givers can assist your loved one in a number of important ways

Paying for In Home Care | Affordable Quality Home Care: Paying for Home CareWhen it comes time to find non-medical, in-home care for your loved ones, paying for this important service is probably the last thing on your mind.

Zip Door when all you need to seal is the doorway

 Zip Door is a great way when all you need to seal is the doorway. One person can install it in under a minute. It's also great for residential jobs like kitchen and bath remodeling, or where renovation will disturb lead paint.   
    For  doors up to 4' x 8'
    Flame retardant Made from 4 mil plastic sheeting
    Two heavy duty zippers pre-installed

Marie Marley: Alzheimer's and the Devil Called Denial

Marie Marley: Alzheimer's and the Devil Called Denial

But people noticing consistent signs of confusion and forgetfulness in a loved one should not wait for the 'defining incident.' One early action to take is to review the Alzheimer's Association's 10 Signs of Dementia and ask yourself whether your loved one is showing one or more of them:
1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life
2. Challenges in planning or solving problems
3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work and at leisure
4. Confusion with time or place
5. Difficulty understanding visual images and spatial relationships
6. New problems with words in speaking or writing
7. Losing things and the inability to retrace steps
8. Decreased or poor judgment
9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
10. Changes in mood and personality
The Alzheimer's Association website has additional information about each of these items and explains how they differ from things 'normal people' do from time to time

Hiring an In-Home Caregiver

Hiring an In-Home Caregiver

(Page 1 of 4)
For older adults, in-home non-medical care might be the key to independence. However, the quality of care depends on the quality of the caregiver. When looking for in-home care, finding the best service can be a challenge. This article offers suggestions on what to look for when hiring a caregiver.
What is In-Home Care?
In-home caregivers provide assistance with activities of daily living (ADL) such as meal preparation, dressing, grooming, medication monitoring, transportation and light housekeeping. These services should not be mistaken for home health services, which offer skilled, medical services by licensed professionals such as nurses and therapists. While in-home caregivers may be trained and/ or certified, they focus mostly on activities of daily living and are not required to perform complex health care related tasks. Programs such as Medicare, or Medicaid (Medi-cal) cover Home Health Services, but do not usually cover non-medical services. There are some long-term care insurance policies that cover non-medical in-home care services. Review your policy to determine whether in-home care is covered by your insurance.