You may ask the question, "What is Alzheimer's?" You may have heard the name of the disease and yet never known anyone personally that has had the disease.
are very lucky if you haven't known anyone with this devastating,
incurable disease. From a statistic I saw on television this week, by
age 85, 50% of us will have the beginning symptoms of this disease.
Living with Alzheimers is very difficult. The definition of the disease from the Alzheimer's Organization states "that it is a disease of the brain that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior." It isn't a normal part of aging.
As described in the packet, Alzheimer's gets worse over time. Although symptoms can vary widely, the first problem many people notice is forgetfulness severe enough to affect their ability to function at home or at work, or to enjoy lifelong hobbies.
The disease may cause a person to become confused, lost in familiar places, misplace things or have trouble with language.
If you are having memory problems, realize that it could be several other issues besides Alzheimer's. Those causes could include: depression, medication side effects, excessive alcohol use, thyroid problems, poor diet, vitamin deficiencies, infections in the body, and other dementia related symptoms.
As we grow older and living with Alzheimers. there are many age-related changes that we all go through. The signs of Alzheimer's disease can be difficult to determine! Yes, you can go through testing? Has family noticed something different about you?
I have recently contacted the Alzheimer's Organization and a packet of literature was sent to me discussing the "Basics, Communications, Behaviors and Activities."
1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life. One of the most common signs of this disease, especially in the early stages, is forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates or events; asking for the same things over and over; and increasingly needing to rely-on memory aides or family members. Often misplacing items within the room or house can cause a fretful time for the AD patient and a loss of valuable time for everyone looking for the 'lost' item.
2. Challenges in planning or solving problems. Some people have difficulty in concentrating and performing a task which should only take 10-15 minutes and might take an hour.
Some have issues in developing and following a plan or work with numbers. May be difficult to pay monthly bills or keeping tack on balancing a checkbook.
Paying Monthly Bills
3. Difficult completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure. Sometimes people with AD have trouble in completing daily tasks, i.e., driving to a familiar location or finding their way home, managing the household budget or playing a favorite game.
4. Confusion with time or place. People with AD can forget important dates (birthdays, anniversaries, holidays) and the passage of time. They may also forget where they are or how they got there.
5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships. Alzheimer's can cause difficulty with vision including reading, judging depth and distance, determining color or contrast. If you have AD, this can cause problems with driving. It is suggested that you visit your local ophthalmologist annually.
6. New problems with words in speaking or writing. People with Alzheimer's may have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves. They also may ask the same questions over and over. Also, will struggle with vocabulary, have problems finding the right word or call things by the wrong name.
7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps. A person with AD may put things in unusual places. Things may be lost and they are unable to retrace steps to locate the items again. Sometimes, they may accuse others of stealing. This may occur more frequently as time passes.
8. Decreased or poor judgment. People with AD may experience changes in judgment or decision making. Examples include giving large amounts away to telemarketers. Also, they may not want to take showers or use lipstick for eyebrow pencil.
9. Withdrawal from work or social activities. Person with Alzheimer's stop playing group games (example: bridge, dominoes or Bunko), stop hobbies, social activities, work projects or attending/playing sports. They may have trouble keeping up with how to play or discussions about any conversations.
10. Changes in mood and personality. The mood and personality of people with Alzheimer's can change. They often are confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious. When out of their comfort zone, they may become upset and struggle until returned to their home.