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21/07/2017

Creutzfeldt Jacob Disease

CJD is rare, occurring in about one in 1 million people annually worldwide. Even so, the changes that CJD brings to the life of the patient are often frightening and stressful.

 

Through a process scientists don't yet understand, misfolded prion protein destroys brain cells. Resulting damage leads to rapid decline in thinking and reasoning as well as involuntary muscle movements, confusion, difficulty walking and mood changes. Dealing and adjusting to all these changes can be a real challenge in it's self.

At George Springall Homecare, we understand these challenges and can provide care and support to help you and your family through the difficult times.

 

What is CJD?

 

Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease or CJD is a degenerative neurological disease that is incurable and invariably

fatal. CJD is at times called a human form of mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE).

However, given that BSE is believed to be the cause of variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob (vCJD) disease in humans,

 the two are often confused.

 

Prion diseases, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, occur when prion protein, which is found throughout the

body but whose normal function isn't yet known, begins folding into an abnormal three-dimensional shape.

This shape change gradually triggers prion protein in the brain to fold into the same abnormal shape.

 

Common symptoms and risks

 

The first symptom of CJD is rapidly progressive dementia, leading to memory loss, personality changes, and hallucinations. Other frequently occurring features include anxiety, depression, paranoia, obsessive-compulsive symptoms. This is accompanied by physical problems such as speech impairment, jerky movements (myoclonus), balance and coordination dysfunction (ataxia), changes in gait, rigid posture. In most patients, these symptoms are followed by involuntary movements and the appearance of an atypical diagnostic electroencephalogram tracing. The duration of the disease varies greatly, but sporadic (non-inherited) CJD can be fatal within months or even weeks. Most victims die six months after initial symptoms appear, often of pneumonia due to impaired coughing reflexes. About 15% of patients survive for two or more years. Some patients have been known to live 4–5 years with mostly psychological symptoms until the disease progresses causing more physical symptoms leading to a diagnosis.

 

Loss of memory and the physical problems increase the risks of:

  • injury due to jerky movements
  • falls
  • seizures
  • psychosis

 

Our support and care

 

George Springall Homecare provides dedicated and experienced staff to help you maintain your quality of life and support you and your family through the difficult times. We create a specialized care plan that focuses on meeting all your needs. We support you set up realistic goals you wish to achieve and we are there to help when ever you need through out your journey to achieving your goals. This might include:

 

  • helping with personal care and getting you ready for the day or for a good night sleep
  • continence management to maintain your dignity and comfort
  • prompting or administering your medication to manage your symptoms
  • assisting with nutrition and hydration to keep you healthy
  • assisting with routine household chores and shopping so your home life is as you would like it to be
  • emotional or social support to keep you connected to the people who are important to you
  • support with rehabilitation to get back to a normal life and independence

 

Further information and support is available from the Alzheimer Association

 

Contact us to discuss a CJD care and support service for you.

 

 

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Our Services

Providing outstanding care within the Oxfordshire community. Care is assessed to your own needs and wishes. From daily visits, night sits, waking nights, live in care to specialist care. Providing continuity of care to support you and your family in the comfort of your own home.