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Arch Hellen Med, 33(1), January-February 2016, 107-114


Psychosocial dimensions of Alzheimer's disease

A. Veniou,1 S. Vasileiadou,1 D. Veletza,1 M. Milios,2 N. Tendolouris3
1Department of Health Care Management,
2Department of Business Administration, School of Social Science, Hellenic Open University, Patra,
3First Department of Propedeutic Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Medical School, "Laiko" General Hospital, Athens, Greece

The medical community has been showing a growing interest in Alzheimer's disease over the years. The increase in life expectancy and the aging of the population are key reasons for the rapid growth in the numbers of people with Alzheimer type disease. This paper provides a summary of Alzheimer type disease, from its first description to the present day. The importance of this chronic disease and how patients face the stigma surrounding Alzheimer's disease are analyzed, with particular attention on the role of the family, social network and patient support groups in caring for these patients. The importance of experienced and well-trained medical staff is highlighted, and the way the healthcare team manages and communicates and exchanges information with the patients. The type of assistance offered by support groups is presented, in comparison to the care offered by the National Health System. An overview is given of the actions that need to be taken in order to improve the services provided to patients with Alzheimer's disease and their families.

Key words: Alzheimer's disease, Chronic diseases, Epidemics, Patient care, Social stigma.

© Archives of Hellenic Medicine