A patient may display abrupt mood swings, become aggressive and angry due to chemical changes in the brain. The patient may develop fear and frustration as he feels that he is gradually losing knowledge and understanding of his surroundings (Scout News, 2006). A person with AD may live anywhere from three to twenty years after diagnosis. On the final phase of AD, a patient becomes increasingly immobile and dysfunctional, totally incontinent that he cannot control his urine or bowel movement; may become bedridden that bed sores and suffers from muscle pain; may lose the ability to swallow and may not be able to eat or drink properly. At the stage of end of life care, the patient may require feeding tubes, respirator, antibiotics and hospitalization.
Occupational therapy is recommended by physicians to help the patient improve the ability to perform daily activities and reduce the pressure on their caregivers (Griffith, 2007). Occupational therapy can improve the daily performance, communication, sense of competence and quality of life of an AD patient. The therapist applies a combination of education, setting feasible goals, using adaptations in physical environment, training compensatory skills, training supervision skills, and changing dysfunctional cognitions on patient behavior.
The occupational therapist can help the patient's caregiver to understand the impact of AD ona person's day-to-day function (Scout News, 2006). ...
the occupational therapist based on Canada's Occupational Therapy Resource Site (2009): 1) minimize distractions in the environment by reducing excess noise at mealtime and decrease confusion by eating regularly, maintaining same table setting, use plain dishes and minimal cutlery; 2) provide opportunities for independence and personal control by dressing, lay out the clothes in the order that they will be put on by the patient and allow the patient with AD to do as much as he can for himself together with verbal cues and encouragement. When eating, use tableware with enlarged handles, plates with rims, and non-slip placemat to help the patient maintain coordination and be independent; 3) ensure consistency in routines by preparing a schedule of regular daily activities for personal care, medication, meals, leisure, walking, and retiring to bed; 4) maintain a safe and secure environment for the patient by providing grab-bars, non-slip bathmat, bathbench and hand-held shower with thermostatic shower control in the bathroom; 5) manage stress by developing coping skills, providing support, and counseling; 6) learning about the disease, its effects, and future care.
II. Diagnostic procedures and Prognosis of OT Intervention
Physicians usually do not tell the patient that he has AD. Only in the case than the patient expresses the need to know the truth that the doctor discloses his condition. The doctor will prescribe drugs to slowdown progression of AD. Drug trials are performed in early stages of AD. Most of the doctors dealing with AD will recommend Occupational Therapy to help the patient improve his capability to perform daily activities and speech therapy to maintain verbal skills of patients with mild symptoms of AD. Another type of therapy developed is