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Episode 124 - Amanda Hunsaker: Advances in Dementia Diagnostic Technology: Preparing Social Work for a Changing Practice

Monday, August 05, 2013, 9:25:28 AM

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In this episode, Amanda Hunsaker discusses the current landscape related to the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's Disease and how advances in diagnostic technology associated with dementia will provide the potential for new insights in the care of these patients. Challenges and opportunities for social work practice are reviewed.

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Average Rating: 4stars  podcast review, Sunday, February 01, 2015

By Ashley :

This interview was very insightful. As a new school work student with and interest in geriatrics I learned a lot from this interview. I was shocked to hear about the 66% increase in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s over an 8-year period. That is not a good statistic with soon to be influx of baby-bombers. I was glad to see that there is research being done to help determine if a person has early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. I think it is important to Mrs. Hunsaker stressed the importance of making the patient as involved in their treatment and making their wished known while they are still cognitively able to make their own decisions. This will give the person a sense of autonomy and control. It will also give their loved ones and care givers peace of minding knowing they are caring out decisions the person wanted. The loved ones and caregivers are already under enough stress caring for the person with Alzheimer’s they do not need the added stress of second guessing their decisions. When my grandmother had Alzheimer’s the family had previous discussed living arguments and keeping my grandmother in her home with added supports. Although, the whole situation was stressful for the family, knowing what my grandmother’s wishes were took off that added stress to the family.
I also like the idea of showing brain imaging to help the person better understand what is happening with them. The idea of Alzheimer’s is sometimes hard to picture and fully comprehend. I know I did not fully understand the effects Alzheimer has had on the brain until I examined a health brain and an Alzheimer’s brain. There was a huge difference in the size and pronouncement of the ridges in the brain. The idea of showing brain scans I think with give people a more tangible concept and idea of what Alzheimer’s is doing to them and how exactly it is effecting the brain.

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