Things to Know about Alzheimer's Disease
Many, many people have heard of Alzheimer’s disease, but very few completely understand it. However, this a common condition in elderly individuals, and it is one of the main reasons why seniors need to move into a nursing home. If you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with this form of dementia, then it is important that you learn as much about it as possible. That way, you will know the future of your loved one and what you can do to provide support for them. Additionally, understanding Alzheimer’s disease will help you better be prepared for a time when you need to start considering nursing homes and assisted living facilities for your loved one.
Alzheimer’s is Just One Form of Dementia
Dementia covers a variety of different illnesses that affect the brain and cognitive function. The most common form is Alzheimer’s disease, which actually accounts for somewhere between 60 and 80 percent of all dementia cases.
However, you must keep in mind that this disease is not just a part of getting old. Some people assume that everyone will eventually get it, but that is not the case. The vast majority of people who were diagnosed when they were older actually had signs of early onset Alzheimer’s even when they were in their 40s and they just didn’t realize it.
It Is Irreversible but It Can Be Slowed Down
The damage that the disease does to the brain cannot be reversed. Once it happens, it happens for good, and this can include destruction of memory, thinking skills, and even skills to carry out tasks as the disease gets more severe. While it cannot be reversed, there are medications now that can slow down the progress of the disease.
The Symptoms Go Beyond Forgetfulness
Most people associate Alzheimer’s disease with forgetfulness, and that is one of the main signs, but it isn’t the only one. The symptoms that you may observe in your loved one include:
- Repeating statements over and over
- Forgetting conversations
- Forgetting basic words and names
- Trouble speaking
- Trouble writing
- Disorientation with surroundings
- Inability to think clearly
- Having trouble making decisions
- Difficulty with routine activities
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Mood swings
- Changes in sleep
Early onset Alzheimer’s can often appear simply as basic forgetfulness. The person may forget where they put their keys or accidentally put the remote control in the refrigerator. These little things may seem like quirks in the beginning only to gradually get worse and worse.
Alzheimer’s disease is a common condition in elderly individuals, and for their own safety, often, a nursing home or some type of 24-hour assisted living care facility is needed. If you would like to learn about the other forms of dementia, then read this article (The 10 Types of Dementia). Additionally, you may wish to read this article on providing support for your loved one (Five Ways to Make an Assisted Living Move Successful) when they move into a nursing home facility. This way, you will better be prepared to help your loved one out no matter what they are dealing with.
Tags: Memory Care