February 20th, 2018 The Loved Ones Desk Uncategorized
Researchers have found nearly half of senior citizens will have some type of cognitive impairment, typically Alzheimer’s, as they age. This brain disorder makes it difficult for people to remember, learn, and communicate, and over time, it becomes increasingly difficult for caregivers to manage day-to-day responsibilities. However, many of the symptoms are similar, and it’s important to know the difference so the correct care can be applied.
Who Is the Alzheimer’s Patient?
Alzheimer’s is the most common type of cognitive decline that causes problems with memory, thought and behavior. In the initial phase, the symptoms may be minimal, however, as the disease causes more damage to the brain, the symptoms become worse. This form of dementia affects areas of the brain that control conception and memory, and especially the ability to communicate and process different information.
Memory problems, particularly the difficulty in remembering recently learned information, often represent the first symptom of Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition to memory loss, the symptoms include:
- Problems to complete activities that were once easy.
- Difficulty solving problems.
- Changes in mood or personality, getting away from friends and family.
- Communication problems, both written and verbal.
- Confusion about places, people, and events.
- Visual changes, such as, for example, the difficulty in understanding images.
When Alzheimer’s affects a person, it initially presents symptoms that may be so slight that they go unnoticed, both to the patient and to his family members. With progression, however, these symptoms become more and more evident and begin to interfere with a senior citizen’s daily activities and with relationships.
What Is Dementia?
It is not a definitive disease, but a general term describing various symptoms associated with the decline of memory, or other cognitive skills that become severe enough to diminish a person’s ability to execute day-to-day activities. One of the most common forms is vascular dementia, generally appearing after a stroke. However, there are a wide range of conditions that can induce these symptoms.
The symptoms vary, but doctors look for at least two major mental functions to be compromised, in order to establish a finding of the disease:
- The patient’s memory
- Dissemination of information, communication and language
- Their awareness, the ability to focus and pay attention
- Reasoning, comprehension, and judgment
The disease typically causes short-term memory loss, such as knowing where they’ve placed the keys, reviewing and paying bills, grocery shopping and cooking meals, and excursions away from home. Many forms are progressive, that is to say, the symptoms manifest themselves slowly and then gradually worsen.
How To Handle Mental Declines
It would be wonderful if we could say this crisis becomes better, but with this disease, the symptoms gradually worsen, requiring skilled help. If you, or a loved one, are experiencing memory difficulties or other changes in thinking skills, do not ignore them. Call Loved Ones so you can ease into caregiving, adding on more roles and responsibilities as they become necessary.