This article presents a functional, brief, and, above all, practical orientation to AD. This disease, with its many unanswered questions (and occasional unquestioned answers), is in first instance a disease to be cared for. The burden of this caring initially falls on caregivers and families; however, once Alzheimer's patients enter the formal health care system, nurses will be at the forefront of care. The foundation to good care is a solid but also applied understanding of the disease, how it manifests itself, and how it is experienced by patients, caregivers, and families.
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