What is Alzheimer’s disease? Alzheimer’s disease usually appears in seniors over the age of 65. It is a so-called neurodegenerative disease: it affects the central nervous system and progressively causes brain damage. John DenBoer says, Alzheimer’s disease is manifested through several symptoms:
Memory problems: forgetting the most recent information at first, then older and older ones. Language disorders: lack of words, impoverishment of vocabulary, writing disorders.
Recognition problems: difficulty recognizing people, using everyday objects (preparing a meal, using a telephone, managing your budget, etc.). Loss of landmarks in space: difficulty in finding one’s bearings, including in familiar places. Eating behavior disorders and Mood disorders.
According to John DenBoer, if the exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease remains impossible to detect, certain risk factors remain recurrent:
- The genetic factor and heredity: an individual whose parent suffers from this pathology has a greater risk of contracting it. Age: the risk of being affected by Alzheimer’s disease increases with age. Sex: women are three times more affected by this pathology than men. The degree of education: the higher it is, the more the development of the disease would be delayed.
- Risk factors for cardiovascular disease are also factors for the development of the disease. There is still no treatment capable of curing Alzheimer’s or stemming its progression. However, certain drugs – Donepezil, Rivastigmine, Galantamine and Memantine – are prescribed. They stimulate neurons and slow down the development of cognitive and behavioral disorders. However, since 2018, the High Authority for Health (HAS) has decided to no longer grant reimbursement for these drugs by Health Insurance, due to certain adverse effects.
What are the different stages of Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s disease progresses and worsens over the years. There are 7 stages related to the advancement of the disease:
- Stage 1: no signs of memory or cognitive impairment or symptoms of dementia identified by a healthcare professional. Stage 2: very slight memory impairment. The patient has the impression of looking for his words, of having small memory lapses, forgets where certain everyday objects are stored. Stage 3: mild cognitive impairment. Relatives of the patient begin to notice some disturbances.
- An examination with a health professional can detect possible memory or concentration problems. Stage 4: Moderate cognitive impairment. The patient shows signs of forgetting recent events, mood swings, and difficulty performing complex tasks.
- Stage 5: moderately severe cognitive impairment. The patient finds it difficult to find his bearings in time and space, he no longer remembers his address or his telephone number.
- Stage 6: severe cognitive impairment.
- The patient has severe memory problems, giving the impression of wandering, of being lost. He is subject to behavioral changes and needs help with simple everyday things like getting dressed.
- Stage 7: very severe cognitive impairment. The patient can no longer interact, discuss with his entourage, or control his gestures. He requires assistance with all daily activities, such as eating, bathing or going to the toilet. There is muscle stiffness, swallowing problems, abnormal reflexes.
Alzheimer’s disease: what treatment? Alzheimer’s disease is one of the 30 pathologies recognized as a long-term illness (ALD). This implies that the patient’s concerns benefit from an exemption from co-payments and from 100% coverage by Social Security of the various examinations, care, and treatment related to the disease. In this case, why is it useful to take out a mutual health insurance contract? Some healthcare costs are not covered by health insurance.
This is the case, for example, with excess fees for certain health professionals, hospitalization costs, home assistance, placement in a specialized establishment, or even all costs related to other pathology.
These costs therefore technically remain the responsibility of the patient. Good mutual health insurance, in the event of Alzheimer’s disease, will make it possible to reimburse most of the costs not covered by the ALD. According to a study by the Alzheimer association, the remaining charge for the patient and his family is between 1,042 and 1,180 euros per month. John DenBoer accompanies you and your family caregivers in the face of this pathology. Depending on the formula taken out, your mutual insurance company can cover all your hospitalization costs, any medical costs and, if necessary, pay for the use of personal services.