Discovered by Dr. Alzheimer on examining patients exhibiting bizarre behaviors, this disease could make people be placed in mental institutions; today, Alzheimer’s is a fatal disease of the brain and one of the most prevalent forms or dementia. We have compiled 5 facts about Alzheimer’s disease and memory impairments you should know.
Do you or someone you know have Alzheimer’s disease? Well, some of the symptoms include loss of body functions and abilities including memory loss, intellectual capability, and discernment. The disease occurs in stages. This might make it difficult to realize since most symptoms coincide with regular things happening to people. Here are some facts you should know.
Early Alzheimer’s doesn’t affect memory at all
In the first stages, Alzheimer’s might have no symptoms at all. So, it might not be easy to detect. You might have this disease and function normally with no problems. During this time you might not be diagnosed by any healthcare professional. So, the chances are high that you might not see a doctor because nothing is bothering you.
Slight Memory Loss At Early Age
With time, your brain might begin to get slightly affected by the disease. You might start to forget some names, places or where you put things. Most people attribute things like forgetfulness, changes in mood and behavior plus difficulty in communication as signs of the normal aging process. So, you might end up not going to a doctor for a professional diagnosis.
Despite a few problems, many functional capabilities are retained. So, you might require minimal assistance. Although you have insight into your changing abilities, you should still inform your family and friends of memory changes. Your loved one’s can plan can direct your future when the condition worsens.
Diagnosable Alzheimer’s causes cognitive decline
By the time the disease is diagnosable, you might begin experiencing cognitive decline. You might find a hard time recalling names of family members or friends. Remembering names of people you encounter becomes a big problem too. You are likely to experience problems with your performance at work and in social circles. Other people might begin to notice your unusual behavior.
This is because you now suffer a significant decline in cognitive and functional abilities. Your memory, plus other cognitive skills will deteriorate continuously if you don’t get professional assistance. You might become unable to handle basic tasks such as homemaking, shopping, bathing, and toileting. Life begins to grow very hard for you without support.
Some unusual behaviors you might experience include:
- Difficulties choosing the right word or name
- Decline in job performance
- Inappropriate behavior in social circles
- Poor retention and comprehension of reading material
- Difficulty in organization and planning
- Poor responsiveness to stimuli
Severe Alzheimer's Causes Significant Memory Loss
When diagnosed with severe Alzheimer’s, you are most likely not to recall facts, occasions or current events around you. There’s inability to handle mental math. Further, tasks requiring thinking and planning like paying bills become a major problem. You might begin to forget your history, get depressed and melancholy.
Severe Alzheimer’s makes you unable to communicate verbally. You’re likely to not look after yourself. At this stage, 24-hour professional care is required to maintain your highest quality of life.
Some changes you might experience include:
- Forgetting days of the week, month or season
- Inability to solve arithmetic problems
- Instrumental activities of daily living become increasingly difficult
- Handling household finances is now a problem
Later Development of Alzheimer’s Leads To Mental and Physical Deterioration
Here, you cannot remember existing details regarding your life. You’re likely to get confused about places, time, dates, and surroundings. In worse situations, you might become unable to recognize people around you or details regarding your life. Getting dressed or performing ordinary activities only becomes possible with assistance.
With a deteriorated mental and physical ability, you now require 24-hour care. The symptoms are likely to increase with time though they vary from one person to another. So, you will need all possible comfort to keep you going. This requires attending to your emotional, spiritual and physical needs in a bid to improve your quality of life and happiness.
You might experience the following symptoms:
- Lost capacity to speak
- Physical rigidity which might lead to deformities from muscular contractures
- Re-emergence of some infantile reflexes
- Incontinence of the urinary system
Memory loss is the earliest symptom of Alzheimer’s disease though it’s part of the regular aging process. Having Alzheimer’s might cause damage to your sense of time and place. Contact your local senior living communities to see what is right for you. It’s common for people diagnosed to get dressed in the middle of the night and believe that it’s morning. Your family and friends will begin to take notice of these unusual behaviors.
As this disease progresses, memory impairment gets worse. You’re likely to end up having difficulty learning new skills. Your change in behavior is now apparent with everyone around you noticing how you do things out of character.
There are chances of becoming depressed on learning what’s happening to you. At a later stage, you will become entirely dependent on other people for care. You might experience difficulty in walking, and urinary incontinence might develop. Even though alzheimer's disease can be tough and add stressors in ones life, with the right support and care, the individuals can still live their life with added help.