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Unit 9 – Health and Social Care

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Introduction Throughout this assignment I am going to be looking into the health and social topic of communicable and non-communicable diseases. I will be investigating into various aspects of two specific diseases. A high level of knowledge will be demonstrated with a detailed description of both communicable and non-communicable diseases as well as an understanding of epidemiology. I will then find a communicable and non-communicable disease example and describe the biological basis of each disease with an explanation to how the body responds to the disease.

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A list of at least three of the different signs and symptoms which are produced and displayed with the disease will then be shown. The changes shown as a result from the disease will be related to the methods used to diagnose and differentiate these diseases. The report will also identify and review at least three of the factors that could affect the distribution of the disease. I will then compare and contrast the communicable and non–communicable disease.

An Examination and explanation of at least three of the factors that can affect the outcome of the treatments of the two diseases will then be produced, with comparison to the support available to those with my chosen disease compared to other communicable and non-communicable diseases. I will then evaluate the strategies for the prevention of both of my chosen diseases. An examination and explanation will then be conducted of at least three reasons to why the strategies are not always as successful as they could be.

I will also research other communicable and non-communicable diseases and include them in my assignment, describing the diseases that have the same signs and symptoms as my chosen communicable and non-communicable diseases. Throughout my assignment I will use appropriate resources such as reports, articles, the internet and books, all of which will be related to health and social care and the diseases chosen. The service user that I have chosen for this unit is the care of older people.

The reasons behind my choice of group is because I will be able to gain a better knowledge about disease in elderly people and I will be able to research into why elderly people get diseases at a certain age. Health and Disease Being in good health is now a positive experience where by individuals can feel healthy and free from illness. Health is; ‘Seen as a resource for everyday life, not the objective of living; it is a positive concept emphasising social and personal resources, as well as physical capabilities. ’ (World Health Organisation (1986).

When an individual has bad health then this is normally known as that particular individual having an ‘illness’. The term illness is a word that is used when describing that an individual is unwell. By having an illness it is a very personal health experience since we are aware of something that doesn’t feel right. An example of an illness could be Influenza, otherwise known as flu, or a cold. The term ill-health is a longer experience where by an individual is unwell and they may not know the cause, for example this could be diabetes.

The term ‘Disease’ could be used if a health professional, such as a doctor, has made a diagnosis from an individual’s signs and symptoms and has offered treatment or care. The term Disease is defined as; ‘A state of ill-health when a part or parts of the body are not functioning properly for a number of reasons e. g. accident, injury, infection or inflammation or inadequate diet’ (Richards 2003). However ‘Fullick 1998’ described Disease as; ‘A diagnostic label given to a set of signs and symptoms by a health professional.

There are differing levels of disease ranging from a general feeling of dissatisfaction with life to when we feel sick enough to seek professional advice. ’ If an individual has a condition as a result of their signs and symptoms then this can be given a name. There are many different types of diseases all of which can be physical, intellectual, emotional and even social (PIES). Some scientists and health professionals argue that by having overall health, you must be healthy in all of these areas. Others however, argue that if you’re healthy in one area, the rest of your body can thrive from that healthy rea. For example if you are un-healthy physically, i. e. an individual is diabetic, then that individual can be healthy socially and psychologically. This means that an individual may have an illness, however it doesn’t mean that individual is un-healthy throughout all areas of their body. Some other examples of PIES include; ? Physical disease or a Physical illness – This type of disease affects the functioning parts of the human body. Some examples of physical diseases are; Bronchitis, Coronary Heart Disease and Arthritis. Psychological disease (Mental Health Disorder) – This type of disease affects an individual’s mind or intellect and some examples of this disease are; anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, personality disorders and behavioural disorders. ? Social disease – This can be caused by personal lifestyle or environmental disorders. It can arise from social deprivation, relationships and other personal activities such as alcoholism and drug abuse. Epidemiology Epidemiology has been defined as ‘The study of the distribution and determinants of health and disease-related conditions in populations.

It is concerned with epidemic (excess of normal expectancy) and endemic (always present) conditions. The basic premise of epidemiology is that disease is not randomly distributed across populations’ (M. Shenker and J. Ladou -1997) If we do not understand the spread of infections, or the main cause for infectious diseases, then they can lead to epidemics. With many infectious diseases in the world such as influenza and HIV, the data attempts to understand the factors which influence the number of cases of a disease at any one time. It also attempts to understand how it is distributed and how to control it.

It is however equally applicable to the many diseases of the Western world which have seen diseases such as cancer and coronary heart disease. The Epidemiological information is either two types. The first type is information which gives an individual an overall picture of the population’s health at any one time. This is otherwise known as incident data. The second type, which is commonly known as trend data, is information which shows individuals trends over a certain period of time. There is also Ill-health data, which mainly deals with illness and death.

It is frequently collected by health organisations and is then transferred and interpreted by a range of organisations. One main organisation is the Office for National Statistics. Epidemiologist’s main aim is to identify the factors which cause a particular disease or the transmission of a disease. They aim to prevent the transmission of both communicable and non-communicable diseases as well as their conditions. Data collection methods are used in order to collect data about a population and their environment and this helps epidemiologists to collect a wide variety of information.

There are many uses of epidemiological studies most of which are that it identifies factors which cause disease, evaluates weather health programmes are effective, identifies the health needs of a community, explains how and why diseases and epidemics happen, establishes a clinical diagnosis of disease and predicts future health needs of a community. An simple example of an epidemiological study may be to compare the incidence of lung cancer in an inner city area with that of a rural community. There are three main types of epidemiological studies.

These are descriptive studies, analytical studies and experimental studies. Descriptive studies describe the distribution of disease by the variations of an individual, place and time. It studies outbreaks of disease and develops a hypothesis about the spread of disease. Analytical studies identify the relationships between the causes of the disease and associated factors. It is also used to develop hypotheses to test cause and effect. Finally experimental studies seek to prove an association between factors and disease outcomes.

Data collection methods The importance of the study of diseases within human populations for the prevention of disease is very important and there are many different data collection methods which help to gather this information. Some of these are; Observations – This method is just simply observing, which means that there is no interaction with the subject involved. There are more disadvantages to this method then there are advantages. One advantage when observing is that it can be recorded or you can take detailed notes of what is happening.

The disadvantages would be that the individual using this method would have to be very organised, they wouldn’t be able to join in any activities and it may be because of this that there are behavioural changes because individuals are being watched. Interviews – The advantages to interviews are that they are personal and can be very detailed. It also enables the individual conducting the interview to pick up on body language, facial expressions etc. This can help when evaluating an activity or topic. The main disadvantage to interviews are that they are very time consuming and can take a lot of planning (i. . meeting up and arranging a time, place and date). Questionnaires – This type of data collection is a booklet, piece of paper or leaflet, which has a series of questions typed on it. These questions are either copied from other questionnaires or the researcher has made up their own questions relating to the topic. A researcher may want to make up the questions to their questionnaire to make the outcome of the topic more detailed since the questions relate to the chosen topic. If the researcher decides to make up the questions to the questionnaire then they must consider the following; ?

Give clear instructions ? The design must be simple (i. e. a readable font, size and colour) ? Easy to complete ? That it is short and simple since longer questions may turn an individual to not wanting to complete the questionnaire Questionnaires are used for both structured and unstructured data. When collecting unstructured data it is usually collected by means of a verbal or open question. By giving open questions, it means that the respondent cannot give a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to an answer. The respondent has to write in their own words, their opinion or answer to the question.

These questions are usually opened with the words ‘why’, ‘what’ and ‘how’. By asking open questions the researcher is much more likely to collect qualitative data since they are collecting the respondent’s views and opinions. When collecting structured data a researcher can design their questionnaire with many different types of questions. Some of these are; ? A list – The respondent would read the question and below would say ‘please tick all the boxes which apply to you’. This would give the researcher more then one possible answer ?

Ranking – The respondent would have to look at a number of actions/responses and then put them into order with 1 as the lowest and 5 as the highest regarding importance. ? Category – The respondent would tick only one box by answering a question such as ‘which of the following age groups do you belong to? ’ they will then have the choice of either ’19 years or under’, ‘20-15 years’ etc ? Quantity – The respondent will be asked to enter the number of times they have been somewhere e. g. their local GP ?

Scale – This will be when the respondent is asked to circle the number that most closely corresponds to their opinion. They will be asked a question such as ‘The service at my GP is good? ’ They will then have numbers one to five with one being the ‘poorest’ and five being ‘excellent’. Closed questions can also be used as a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ can be very useful in determining a basic question such as ‘are you still in full time education? ’ Communicable diseases These are all ways of classifying disease; however another way of classifying diseases is by simply arranging them into communicable and non-communicable diseases.

Communicable disease is an infectious or contagious disease that can be transmitted from one living organism to another. Communicable diseases can be transmitted by breathing in micro-organisms from another individual, other wise known as air inhalation, coming into contact with food and water that has not been hygienically prepared, direct contact with another individual or a group of people, insects such as mosquitoes and finally inoculation which is skin breakages. Communicable diseases are passed on from one person to another. A common example of this is influenza or the common cold.

This is something that everyone will have more then once in their life and is always around and very hard to get rid of since the micro-organisms are in the air, as well as objects. Communicable diseases can occur at any age and any stage of life and in most cases recovery is quick however this excludes MRSA, Malaria and HIV. Communicable diseases are caused by invading micro-organisms known as pathogens. Micro-organisms are small and some of them are good, for example yeast. Some invading micro-organisms can cause tissue damage and they also release a toxin which causes disease symptoms.

Some types of micro-organisms are; 1. Virus (Singular virus) – Viruses are not something that will come and go, in fact a virus can stay in the air that we breathe for years since they don’t move, feed or respire. Viruses are however incapable of replication unless they are inside a living host cell and once the virus is inside the cell, it will destroy it and will then release more of the virus. A virus is a small and simple structure and it contains some genetic material called RNA (Ribonucleic acid) as well as some enzymes which are needed for replication. . Bacteria (Singular bacterium) – Bacteria have a ridged cell wall for protection and depending on the bacteria itself, they can exist as a single cell, a pair or chains. The shape of the bacteria can also vary from circular, rod shaped and crescent shaped (half moon). Where as viruses contain RNA, bacteria contains DNA (Deoxyribo-nucleac acid) and they have a flagellae (tail) which helps them to move. 3. Fungi – This can cause serious illness and can result in death as well as allergic disorders.

Within the human body there are always some types of fungi present, however it is not there long since bacteria begins to fight it so it doesn’t get a change to multiply and cause a problem. There are single-celled fungi which are known as yeasts and these occur in colonies. A common example of this is the infection known as candidiasis (thrush) which is caused by yeast. Other types of fungi which invade the skin are otherwise known as dermatophytes and mycoses which are both fungi diseases. Multi-cellular fungi causes common infections such a athletes foot and ringworm. 4.

Protozoa – ‘These are single celled organisms belonging to the animal kingdom. They can only be seen through a micro scope but are larger than bacteria and fungal cells’ (Moonie 2006). Several protozoa are parasites of humans including; ? Malaria – This is a disease mainly found in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and central southern America. It is a serious disease affecting organs and an individual will also experience a high fever. ? Amoebiasis – The symptoms of this is often diarrhoea and some individuals develop a fever. ? Trichomoniasis – This is a sexually transmitted disease and is caused by an organism called Trichomonas vaginalis.

Non-Communicable diseases Within this group of diseases they cannot be transmitted from one human being to another by the methods which communicable disease can be transmitted. This means that they cant be transmitted by inhalation, sexual contact or any other physical contact. Non-communicable diseases do not have micro-organisms that cause diseases, however the cause of a Non-Communicable disease can be attributed to effects such as faulty genes, too much wear and tear and even lack of (or excess of) a particular substance in an individuals diet.

Depending on either the type of illness produced or the cause of the condition, non-communicable diseases can also be subdivided. These include; ? Degenerative diseases – these are diseases that get progressively worse and the changes occur earlier than natural changes and in most cases the changes are rapid and selective in their distribution. Most of these disorders will be made up of fibrous (scar) tissue since the specialised cells that make up the tissue get destroyed and replaced.

Some examples of degenerative disorders are Osteoarthritis which affects an individuals joints since the joint cartilage wears and away and the bone begins to distort. Others include Alzheimer’s disease which is early dementia and Parkinson’s disease that is abnormal movement and stiffness. ? Deficiency diseases – these are diseases that are usually associated with dietary needs and are most commonly found in un-developed countries, however they can also be found in well developed countries since there is over-consumption. Within the UK the most common deficiency disease is Iron-deficiency anaemia. Lifestyle/environmental diseases – an individuals lifestyle and environment is very important within development, however it is more important when considering health and well-being. There are many conditions that fall into this category some of which are; drug and alcohol dependency, lung cancer and heart disease which is normally due to a constant exposure of smoke from tobacco smoking and others. Skin cancer is also one main example and is a result of sun exposure. By living in cold, hot, poor or rich countries it can all determine how healthy an individual may be in the present and future. Inherited diseases – Inherited diseases are a group of diseases which have been passed on from one person to another by the genes in which they inherited from their parents. Some examples of inherited diseases are Cystic fibrosis and Haemophilia. The differences between communicable and non-communicable diseases are that communicable diseases are only caused by micro-organisms where as non-communicable diseases are not caused by micro-organisms but are caused by tissue deterioration or deficiency of a substance necessary for health, inherited genes and lifestyle and environmental factors.

Both communicable and non-communicable diseases are not the same when it comes to the transmission of diseases, the life stages of affected individuals, the treatment of patients and the support for diseases. The immune system The immune system is basically the bodies response to a certain illness or treatment. The microbes that cause diseases are called pathogens and these are specialised to infect the body tissues. They will then reproduce and cause damage that creates a rise to the symptoms of the infection. The body will then begin to fight back by mobilising its immune system to fight off the infection.

Once the bodies immune system begins to fight it may not clear the infection straight away. In fact it may take a few days or weeks for the infection to disappear completely. The organs belonging to the immune system which are positioned throughout the body are called lymphoid organs. In today’s society, modern medicine has developed many successful treatments that help to assist the body’s natural defences. Chosen communicable and non-communicable diseases The disease that I have chosen in relation to my service user for a communicable disease is Meningitis.

The reason for my choice of disease is that it is a dangerous disease at any life stage of an individual and there are a lot of studies relating to Meningitis as well as arguments for and against treatment. In relation to my chosen service user group, it is a common disease which can affect elderly people not only physically but also emotionally and socially. In comparison to this disease my chosen non-communicable disease is Alzheimer’s disease. Just like my chosen communicable disease, this disease also relates and mainly affects elderly people and researching and gaining a greater knowledge of this disease will be interesting.

The reason for my choice of disease is that this is a disease that affects many individuals within the UK and around the world. Seeing the reasons for why Alzheimer’s exists and the treatments available for the disease would be out of the ordinary. Meningitis What is Meningitis? Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges which is the lining that protects the brain and spinal cord. It is almost always caused by an infection, usually by a bacteria or a virus and in rare cases it can be triggered by a fungus or parasite. Within the brain there are three main meninges, including the following: ?

Dura mater – the outside membrane that adheres to the inside of the skull. ? Arachnoid – the middle membrane. ? Pia mater – the innermost membrane, which adheres to the brain. Meningitis is very common in young children under five as well as individuals aged between seventeen and twenty five and people over the age of fifty five. Individuals with compromised immune systems, such as people with HIV or AIDS, are also at an increased risk. The most frequent cause of meningitis is the entry of a microorganism such as a bacterium or a virus from an infection elsewhere in the body.

The microorganisms travel through the blood and into the meninges and cerebral spinal fluid. In the bloodstream, infection-causing microorganisms are attacked off by white blood cells which are an important part of the immune system. There are however no white blood cells in the cerebral spinal fluid to fight infections. Meningitis can strike quickly and without warning, so urgent medical attention is essential. All causes of meningitis are serious and need medical attention with most people making a good recovery, but some suffer life-long after-effects and complications.

There are two different types of meningitis one of which is more life threatening then the other. The first kind is Bacterial meningitis. This is life-threatening since it carries a serious risk of complications and death. There are several types of bacterial meningitis however in the UK the most common types are meningococcal and pneumococcal bacteria. The bacteria that cause these cases are common and live in the back of the nose and throat, or in the upper respiratory tract. The bacteria are spread among people by coughing, sneezing and kissing.

This type of bacteria cannot live outside the body for long and they cannot be picked up from water supplies and swimming pools etc. Individuals can carry these bacteria around for days, weeks, or months without becoming ill. In fact, about ‘25 percent of the population carries the bacteria. ’ (Meningitis – Life or death – NHS Leaflet 2006) The different types of meningitis are; Meningococcal meningitis, this is ‘caused by bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. There are several strains of Neisseria meningitidis. Strain B causes about 75 percent of the meningococcal cases and has the highest fatality rate. The next type is Pneumococcal meningitis, which is caused by ‘pneumococcus bacteria, which can also cause several diseases of the respiratory system, including pneumonia. It has a fatality rate of about 20 percent. It also results in a higher incidence of brain damage than other forms of the disease. ’ Neonatal meningitis is another example and affects mostly newborn babies and is ‘caused by Group B streptococcus bacteria, commonly found in the intestines. ’ Finally Staphylococcal meningitis is a rare, but deadly form caused by staphylococcus bacteria. ‘It usually develops as a complication of a diagnostic or surgical procedure. (Source -http://www. ehealthmd. com/library/meningitis/mg_causes. html) The second kind of meningitis is viral meningitis. This type is rarely life-threatening, but can leave an individual with lifelong after-effects and often develops following the mumps or chicken pox. It is far more common than the bacterial form and in many cases, much less debilitating. Most people who are exposed to viruses that cause meningitis will experience mild or no symptoms and make a full recovery without complications. The disease can be caused by many different viruses.

Some of the viruses are transmitted by coughing or sneezing or through poor hygiene. ‘Other viruses can be found in sewage polluted waters. ’ (Meningitis – Life or Death? NHS leaflet 2006) What are the symptoms of meningitis? The symptoms of meningitis vary depending on the individual however the following symptoms are the most common symptoms of meningitis. These are symptoms such as a fever, headache, nausea and vomiting, stiff neck, joint aches or pains, drowsiness and seizures. Other symptoms include a rash which is displayed as a blotchy red rash however small spots develop at first and may occur in groups anywhere on the body.

The rash does not fade or change colour when a glass is placed against it and it often grows to become blotchy and look like bruises. The rash however is not always present in some cases of meningitis as it is often a sign of septicaemia. Another symptom is ‘Photophobia’, which is when an individual is sensitive to bright lights or flickering lights. Photophobia begins to display itself when the eyes begin to experience discomfort when exposed to any number of light sources, some of which include sunlight, fluorescent light and incandescent light.

This means that the Individual may need to squint or close their eyes to protect them from the light. The last main symptom of meningitis is confusion. A confused person may seem dopey, unable to focus on surrounding events, conversations or instructions. They may also be ‘disorientated in time, place or person and are unable to recognise friends or family. ’ (http://www. brainskills. co. uk/AcuteConfusion. html) Rambling and having garbled speech is also a sign of confusion as well as hallucinations and a misunderstanding of their surrounding.

Confusion can be produced by an individual having low oxygen levels in their blood as well as dehydration. There are many other diseases and illnesses that have the same symptoms as meningitis and some individuals can often become confused. One main common symptom is joint aches or pains and this is commonly confused with Arthritis. There are more ‘than 9 million people who have arthritis in the UK, however Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the UK with an estimated 8. 5 million people affected by the condition. ’ (Source: http://www. ebmd. boots. com/arthritis/default. htm) Another disease with similar signs and symptoms to meningitis is Coronary artery disease. This disease refers to poor blood flow in the arteries that supply the heart muscle and its common symptom is nausea and vomiting. How is meningitis diagnosed? In cases of suspected meningitis, treatment is usually under way before the diagnosis has been confirmed. This is because some of the tests can take several hours to complete and it could be very dangerous to delay treatment for a long period of time.

When suspected with meningitis a medical history and physical examination will take place to look for signs of meningitis or septicaemia (blood poisoning), such as a rash as well as diagnostic procedures which may include the following: ? Lumbar puncture (spinal tap) – ‘a special needle is placed into the lower back, and then into the spinal canal. The pressure in the spinal canal and brain can then be measured. A small amount of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) can be removed and sent for testing to determine if there is an infection or other problems.

CSF is the fluid that bathes the brain and spinal cord. ’ This procedure is normally carried out by an individual’s local GP when they are first suspected with meningitis. ? Blood testing – Blood is usually taken to look for the germ within the blood and to check that the patient is otherwise healthy. This procedure is carried out at a hospital where the patient would have been admitted to. ‘Around 25% of those who develop meningitis have symptoms that develop over a period of 24 hours. ’ (http://www. emedicinehealth. com/meningitis_in_adults/page3_em. tm#Adult Meningitis Symptoms) The remainder will generally become ill over one to seven days. The elderly are a lot more prone to the disease and when they visit their GP for a check up or other advice the GP will generally ask if they have been experiencing any symptoms or problems which are related to the disease because they are more common to get it. Since meningitis is common in the elderly and neonates, a lot of grandparents who see their grandchildren a lot may get the disease since their grand child may have contracted the disease at an early age.

How the body responds to Meningitis Below is a diagram which shows the location of the meninges within the brain. The bacterium that causes meningitis tend to vary with a person’s age, but meningococcal meningitis is the most common kind. Meningococcal bacteria are very common and are usually carried harmlessly in people’s noses and throats. It is only when the bacteria gets into the wrong place that they cause disease. Meningococcal septicaemia (when the bacterium gets into the blood stream) is the more life-threatening form of meningococcal disease.

It is more dangerous when it occurs alone and causes most deaths from meningococcal infection. It typically presents with a pin-prick rash that doesn’t fade when pressed. This rash can spread rapidly to form blotches all over the body. Source: http://www. meningitisuk. org/meningitis/disease/types. htm The body’s immune system does a lot of fighting when the disease is at its worse and can sometimes fail. This is especially common with my service user group since the elderly have a weak immune system. Usually the brain is protected from infection by the ‘blood brain barrier’.

This is a thick membrane that filters out impurities from blood before allowing it back into the brain. There are however some people where the infection can breach the blood brain barrier and infect the meninges (brain membrane). The immune system will then respond to this infection by causing the meninges to swell in an attempt to stop the spread of infection. This is where brain damage can be caused and the situation becomes life threatening. The after effects of meningitis The changes as a result of meningitis can be life changing.

Although many individuals make a full recovery, there are other individuals who have lost limbs such as an arm or leg as a result of meningitis. Brain damage is another big factor when considering the changes to an individual’s body since this change is life changing for not only the individual, but their family and friends and way of life in general. In the elderly this is concerning, since some elderly individuals are in care homes being looked after by trained professionals due to having no family or the family just cant cope with looking after them.

This then starts to put a huge strain on the governments/family’s financial worries since treatment may be free due to the NHS, but care after an individual is out of the NHS circle can be very challenging especially when doing so on their own. The after effects may be temporary or permanent, physical or emotional, however each individual will respond to meningitis differently after treatment. Some after effects include the following; ? Memory loss/ difficulty retaining information ? lack of concentration ? Clumsiness ? Co-ordination problems Headaches ? Deafness / hearing problems ? Dizziness/ loss of balance ? Learning difficulties (ranging from temporary learning deficiencies to long term mental impairment) ? Epilepsy / seizures (fits) ? Weakness ? Paralysis or spasms of part of the body (if permanent, sometimes called cerebral palsy) ? Speech problems ? Loss of sight/changes in sight Alzheimer’s disease What is Alzheimer’s? Alzheimer’s disease, first described by the German neurologist Alois Alzheimer, is a ‘physical disease affecting the brain’.

During the course of the disease, ‘plaques’ and ‘tangles’ develop in the structure of the brain which then leads to the death of brain cells. People with Alzheimer’s also have a shortage of some important chemicals in their brains. These chemicals are involved with the transmission of messages within the brain. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, which means that gradually, over time, more parts of the brain are damaged. As this happens, the symptoms become more severe. (http://alzheimers. org. uk/site/scripts/documents_info. php? ocumentID=100) What are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s? People in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease may experience lapses of memory and have problems finding the right words. As the disease progresses, they may: ? become confused, and frequently forget the names of people, places, appointments and recent events ? Experience mood swings. They may feel sad or angry. They may feel scared and frustrated by their increasing memory loss ? Become more withdrawn, due either to a loss of confidence or to communication problems.

As the disease progresses, people with Alzheimer’s will need more support from those who care for them. Eventually, they will need help with all their daily activities. While there are some common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, it is important to remember that everyone is unique. No two people are likely to experience Alzheimer’s disease in the same way. There are other diseases and disorders that have similar signs and symptoms to that of Alzheimer’s. One main disorder which also effects an individual’s brain and their mental capacity is called Bipolar disorder.

This is one of several medical conditions that are in the same category called depressive disorders. It is a condition that affects an individual’s mood where by they can swing from one extreme mood to another. An individual with bipolar disorder will experience periods or ‘episodes’ of depression and mania. Depression is when an individual is feeling really low and mania is when an individual is feeling very high and is close to hyper. This is also common in the elderly especially when they can become confused or experience mixed emotions.

Another disorder which can be related to Alzheimer’s disease is ‘Avoidant personality disorder’. The individual with this disorder has few close friends, but is often very dependent on them. This is the same for an individual with Alzheimer’s disease since individuals with this disorder are described by others as being “shy”, “timid,” “lonely,” and “isolated” which is how some elderly individuals feel at a later stage of their diagnosis since they forget things a lot easier and often become afraid of what’s going on around them.

What are the causes of Alzheimer’s? So far, there is not one single factor that has been identified as a cause for Alzheimer’s disease. It is likely that a combination of factors, including age, genetic inheritance, environmental factors, diet and overall general health, are responsible. In some people, the disease may develop silently for many years before symptoms appear and the onset of clinical disease may require a trigger. How is Alzheimer’s diagnosed? If an individual is concerned about themselves or someone who they are close o and that individual is showing signs of dementia then the first person to consult is a GP. If dementia is suspected, it is often easier to assess and observe the person’s behaviour within the home rather then going to the local surgery. The GP will assess an individual through: ? Analysis of background information ? The GP will spend some time talking to the individual and (if accompanying someone) the person who that individual is concerned about. To try and establish some of the symptoms the GP will look at the person’s medical history and that of other family members. Physical examinations and tests ? The GP will normally carry out a physical examination and may perform a number of tests, such as blood and urine test. This is to identify other conditions that may be causing confusion to the individual. ? Mental tests ? The GP will ask a series of questions designed to test thinking and memory. If there is a diagnosis of dementia, or the individual is having trouble managing then the GP has access to some services, such as community nursing. Their GP can then refer them to the social services for care.

In some cases the GP will want to refer the individual to a memory clinic or other specialist service for a fuller assessment. The next step of diagnosis is a referral to a specialist. A consultant at a hospital or memory clinic will have more specialised knowledge and experience of dementia than the GP, and will have access to more specialised investigations, such as brain scans. With the elderly the main type of consultants that they are likely to see are Old age psychiatrists and Specialists in medicine for older people.

Specialists in medicine for older people (sometimes called geriatricians) specialise in the physical illnesses and disabilities associated with old age. If the individual involved is being diagnosed and has reached retirement age then they may be referred to one of these specialists to see whether their symptoms are due to a physical illness, or to find out whether they are suffering from a physical illness as well as dementia. Old age psychiatrists are psychiatrists who have further specialised in the mental health problems of older people, including dementia.

The next step is that the individual gets an assessment complete, where by the specialist may carry out their assessment through: ? Analysis of background information ? as with the GP, an assessment is likely to include time spent talking to the person being diagnosed and those close to them. ? Physical examinations and tests ? a physical examination and/or tests will be undertaken, if they have not already been carried out by the GP. ? Behaviour assessment ? the individual being diagnosed may see a psychologist for a detailed assessment. Time may be spent observing their behaviour and assessing their ability to cope. Scans ? the person might be given a brain scan. A brain scan can identify conditions such as strokes, brain tumour and hydrocephalus (a build-up of fluid inside the brain). There are different types of brain scans and the main two are a CT or CAT (computerised axial tomography) scan and this is a way of taking pictures of the brain using X-rays and a computer, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans also use a computer to create an image of the brain but, instead of X-rays, they use radio signals produced by the body in response to the effects of a very strong magnet contained within the scanner.

After the assessment, the consultant will send a report to the GP and in some cases the consultant may wish to see the person again after some months to observe any changes before making a diagnosis. The GP will then explain the diagnosis however in some circumstances a professional may feel that they should only offer the diagnosis of dementia if the patient asks, or seems to want to know and that the knowledge that they have dementia will be too much for the individual to cope with.

Some doctors will inform those close to the person concerned of the diagnosis of dementia and in some cases it may be left to the relatives or friends to decide whether to tell the person that they have dementia. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, the GP should arrange to see the person with dementia from time to time to assess changes and discuss any problems. How the body responds to Alzheimer’s and it’s causes Alzheimer’s is more of a mental illness rather then a virus or fungal infection. The body learns to adapt to the mental state of an individuals mind.

Antibodies and treatment will not be affective in this case of disease. Scientists don’t fully understand what causes Alzheimer’s disease, however it is clear that it develops because of a ‘complex series of events that take place in the brain over a long period of time. It is likely that the causes include genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Because people differ in their genetic make-up and lifestyle, the importance of these factors for preventing or delaying Alzheimer’s differs from person to person. ’ (Source: http://www. nia. nih. ov/Alzheimers/Publications/adfact. htm) The Distribution, Prevention and Comparison of Meningitis and Alzheimer’s Meningitis is a communicable disease which means that it can be passed on from one person to another. Viral meningitis is the most common form of meningitis and is usually spread by coughing, sneezing and poor hygiene. The distribution of this disease can be affected by individuals washing their hands before eating and after being in un-hygienic conditions, sneezing into a tissue and disposing of it appropriately and by covering the mouth when coughing.

With bacterial meningitis many people already have the bacteria in their nose and the back of their throat without getting ill. Individuals with weak immune systems will sometimes later go on to develop the disease and can be transmitted through sneezing, coughing and intimate kissing. The prevention of these is the same as above however the bacteria do not live long outside of the human body. Pneumococcal meningitis also lives in the respiratory system and is spread the same way as above. The elderly are prone to this disease since it is so easy for them to contract due to their weak immune systems.

They are especially prone to catching the disease as a result of their lifestyle since many elderly individuals cannot drive and rely on public transport. This means that people who have been on the public transport have sneezed and coughed and when the elderly individual touches a seat or other object, and then they will have the germs on their hands and clothing. This is why it is vital that the elderly stay clean and hygienic to help prevent them from getting the disease. In comparison with an individual contracting Meningitis, an individual cannot contract Alzheimer’s disease.

This is because the condition is genetic and is an illness that develops later on in a human’s life. This disease is a non-communicable disease and cannot be transmitted from one human being to another by the methods which communicable disease can be transmitted. This means that Alzheimer’s cannot be transmitted by inhalation, sexual contact or any other physical contact. In comparison to both the communicable and non-communicable diseases they can both end up to be life threatening, life changing and extremely dangerous if contracted or developed.

Meningitis, the communicable disease has a lot of ways of which it can be contracted, however many of these methods can be easily prevented now and in the future. It is the basic hygienic levels which accompany this disease as to whether or not it will spread further within the individual and others. The symptoms to this disease are also very visible and noticeable within the individual where as with Alzheimer’s, the mental effects on the individual and their behaviour noticed by them or others help to diagnose their disease.

Both diseases are required to be diagnosed/treatment immediately and both require a visit to a GP and hospital. They both require professional medical help within the National Health Service for example a serious case of meningitis will require doctors and nurses and Alzheimer’s will require more expert help such as a consultant and therapists. They also both effect the individual emotionally as well as their friends and family. A common effect of meningitis is scaring, this can leave an individual with low self-esteem and with an individual who has Alzheimer’s they can often feel stupid or feel as if they are ‘being a nuisance’.

Both of these diseases have more in common then things that are not common and effect an individual the same way as well as the health services and their family. Treatment of diseases There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s and that is why current treatments focus on several different aspects, including helping people maintain mental function, managing behavioural symptoms and slowing, delaying, or preventing the disease. Managing Behavioural Symptoms – Common behavioural symptoms of Alzheimer’s include sleeplessness, agitation, anxiety, anger, and depression.

Scientists are now learning why these symptoms occur and are currently studying new treatments which include drugs and some with no drugs to manage them. Treating behavioural symptoms often makes people with Alzheimer’s more comfortable and makes their care easier for care providers. Scientists have also looked at Slowing, Delaying, or Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease. Research on Alzheimer’s disease has developed to a point where scientists can now look beyond treating the symptoms, and to start thinking about addressing the underlying disease process. In ongoing clinical trials, scientists are looking at many possible interventions, such as cardiovascular and diabetes treatments, antioxidants, immunization therapy, cognitive training, and physical activity. ’ This will all help an individual deal with Alzheimer’s disease. Meningitis however is treated completely differently to that of Alzheimer’s. As viral meningitis is caused by a virus, antibiotics do not help it and GP’s often say that it will clear up on its own. ‘The best way to make a full recovery is by resting and drinking plenty of fluids. (Meningitis – Life or death – NHS Leaflet 2006) Paracetamol is a drug which is suggested to patients to relieve any headaches and to reduce a temperature which they may be experiencing. Bacterial meningitis and septicaemia is treated immediately with antibiotics, this is usually via an injection directly into the bloodstream. Individuals with bacterial meningitis are usually monitored in hospital for some time. If an individual has been in close contact with the patient who has the disease then they may also be prescribed medication to protect them.

With all cases of meningitis, the earlier the diagnosis is made the better the outlook for the patient. There is however a vaccine that has been produced to help protect individual, especially those who are high at risk, from contracting the disease. There are a few vaccines that protect individuals against some forms of meningitis and septicaemia, but although these vaccines provide excellent protection, they can’t prevent all strains of these diseases. As yet there is no vaccine that can prevent all forms of meningitis and septicaemia.

Some of the vaccinations include the ‘MenC vaccine’, which is a conjugate vaccine against Group C meningitis and septicaemia. The MenC vaccine was introduced in the UK in 1999 and provides excellent protection against meningitis and septicaemia caused by Group C. ‘The vaccine has been offered to almost everyone who was aged under 18 in September 1999 in the UK, reducing cases of Group C disease by over 90% in the age groups targeted for vaccination. ’ (Source: http://www. meningitis. org/disease-info/vaccines) The second vaccination is the Pneumococcal vaccine.

There are currently two different vaccines which are used in the UK, one in the routine childhood immunisation schedule for all babies and the other for everyone over the age of 65. These vaccines are also available to people with particular health conditions that increase their risk from pneumococcal infection. All of the treatments for both diseases are different when compared with each other since meningitis can be treated with drugs and other medication, where as Alzheimer’s can not be treated at all, however the symptoms and long term effects can be with help from health professionals who will reassure a patient without using drugs.

The provision of care for both diseases is of a professional standard and this ranges from consultants, doctors and nurses to the voluntary support. Without the voluntary support the health and care professionals would not be able to spend that much time with a patient due to a work overload, however when they have a extra help from members of the public, some of who may have experience in health or care, they can provide a much better service for their service users without having to pay for their appearance and skills.

No matter what the disease all professional health services will have to follow the correct legislation and The Care Value Base in order to achieve an effective and reliable service. Evaluation Throughout my assignment I feel that I have gained a greater knowledge of communicable and non-communicable diseases with relation to their symptoms, treatment and prevention. Both diseases have strategies in order to prevent the disease occurring in the first place. Although Meningitis has many ways of contracting the disease, it also has many ways of preventing the disease.

This can be completed by following basic hygienic rules such as washing your hands before eating and after being in an un-hygienic place. It also involves sneezing into a tissue so that the germs don’t spread into the air, since when spread in a confined space, there is a much higher chance of an individual catching the disease. Sneezing into a tissue however may not work if it is not disposed of effectively. For example an individual who has meningitis would sneeze on a tissue and then instead of throwing it in the bin, leaving on the seat on the public bus.

That then means that a young child could possibly come along and pick up that tissue, leaving all the germs on their hands and then when they eat food the germs will be transported into his/her mouth. This would then result in the child also getting meningitis. Although an individual cannot contract Alzheimer’s disease, there are ways in which Alzheimer’s disease can be prevented. Scientists say that this is through having a healthy body and mind however an individuals genes notoriously decide whether or not that individual will get Alzheimer’s or not.

Alzheimer’s develops over a number of years and scientists are hoping to find the symptoms of early dementia in order to prevent it becoming Alzheimer’s later on in life. With Alzheimer’s developing later on in life, not every individual is guaranteed to have a great lifestyle since they will have experienced other things in life which could lead to having an un-healthy mind. It is different with every individual and this theory of a healthy mind can not be 100% effective when the individual themselves do not even know what the future holds for them.

One main problem with the prevention, support and treatment for both diseases is that it can be very cost effective. Treatment on the NHS may be free to the service user; however the government still have to pay for the life saving treatment from the taxes the public pay to go towards the NHS. Researching, investigating and developing a prevention towards disease is also highly expensive and many organisations are funded by charities with without that money, wouldn’t be able to carry out the research and develop that they do.

Although a treatment for meningitis has been developed, there is still current research and studies going on to find a prevention for Alzheimer’s disease. My chosen service user group was the correct group to choose since there was a lot of information about the two diseases and how they effect the elderly. I now understand how disease can effect individuals as well as families and how treatment and prevention is so important in maintaining a healthy life. Both diseases will carry on being researched with help from statistics that have been gathered in the UK.

Hopefully in the future scientists will develop an effective drug or treatment that will stop individuals, especially the elderly, from getting Alzheimer’s in the future. Alzheimer’s is a horrible disease that can break a whole family apart, however this isn’t normally the case since they receive professional help from the NHS and private organisations in order for them to maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle. Meningitis is also life threatening as well as life changing and although Alzheimer’s occurs over many years, meningitis can develop into a serious case within a couple of hours.

More and more people in the UK are now getting vaccinations and are keeping them up to date and this has reduced the number of meningitis cases dramatically and with funding and support available, the work will continue into the future saving peoples lives. Conclusion Throughout this assignment I looked into the health and social topic of communicable and non-communicable diseases. My chosen diseases were Alzheimer’s and Meningitis and i investigated the various aspects of the two specific diseases.

I gained a high level of knowledge researching and throughout my assignment and included a detailed description of both communicable and non-communicable diseases as well as an understanding of epidemiology. I described the biological basis of each disease with an explanation on how the body responds to the disease as well as looking at treatment and prevention. At least three of the different signs and symptoms were produced and displayed with relation to my chosen diseases. Also the changes shown as a result from the diseases were related to the methods used to diagnose and differentiate the diseases.

I researched many other diseases and disorders that had the same symptoms as my chosen diseases and discussed how my diseases can often become mistaken for another disease or disorder. I identified and review at least three of the factors that could affect the distribution of the disease and compared and contrasted both diseases. An Examination and explanation of at least three of the factors that can affect the outcome of the treatments of the two diseases were also produced, with good comparison to the support available for those with the diseases.

An explanation of at least three reasons to why the strategies are not always as successful as they could be was also produced and I gained a lot of knowledge from this section. Throughout my assignment I used appropriate and reliable resources such as leaflets, articles, the internet and books, all of which were related to health and social care and the diseases chosen. I gained a better knowledge about disease in elderly people and I was be able to research into why elderly people get diseases at a certain age. Bibliography Books ? Fullick 1998’ ? Richards 2003 Neil Moonie 2006 ? World Health Organisation (1986) Websites ? http://alzheimers. org. uk/site/scripts/documents_info. php? documentID=100 ? http://www. brainskills. co. uk/AcuteConfusion. html ? http://www. meningitis. org/? gclid=CKiG66aX4KUCFeBd4wodUyaT4Q ? www. meningitis. org/symptoms ? http://www. meningitis. org/disease-info/vaccines ? http://www. nhs. uk/conditions/meningitis/pages/introduction. aspx ? http://www. nhs. uk/Conditions/Bipolar-disorder/Pages/Introduction. aspx Leaflets ? Meningitis – Life or Death? NHS leaflet 2006

Cite this Unit 9 – Health and Social Care

Unit 9 – Health and Social Care. (2016, Sep 16). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/unit-9-health-and-social-care/

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