Jul 29, 2016 by Anonymous
Alzheimer’s disease has often been described as a "long goodbye". Even though people can live for several years with it, they eventually lose their memory and ability to care for themselves. This devastating disease is physically and emotionally draining on family members, who are usually primary caregivers. There are several warning signs and symptoms of the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Since there are different disorders that may mimic the disease, only a physician can give the definite diagnosis.
These are the typical signs of possible Alzheimer’s:
Dementia (gradual loss of memory) is a classic symptom of Alzheimer’s. In early days, older people who lost their memories were just said to be "senile". While it is common for people to have an occasional lapse of memory as they get older, Alzheimer memory loss can be profound. It may start out simple, like forgetting car keys or an appointment. Gradually, people with Alzheimer’s start forgetting names and the things they need for daily living.
Alzheimer’s disease affects people's personalities. A warm, caring person can gradually become distant and suspicious. Many times, they lose interest in former interests and hobbies and can suffer from depression. Those who used to be easy-going can become easily -agitated and belligerent with others. This is one of the most difficult Alzheimer’s symptoms for family members. Since mini-strokes and mental illness can also change personality, the doctor will run tests to see if the symptom is due to Alzheimer’s.
Even a simple task like tying shoes can prove to be difficult for people with Alzheimer’s; they can get frustrated with tasks that they have done every day for years. Things like cooking, bathing, and dressing can become major chores.
Another major problem that Alzheimer’s patients have is with talking. They often grasp for forgotten words and can lose their train of thought in mid-sentence. Talking on the telephone can be quite frustrating for them. They may begin to slur their words and have long pauses in their sentences. Because of their memory loss, they may repeat things that they said just moments ago. In the last stages of the disease, they will be reduced to a few mumbled words.
People with Alzheimer’s pose a risk to their safety because their judgment is often impaired. They may try to do things that they would not ordinarily do. This can be especially dangerous if they take risks while driving or operating appliances. This symptom is problematic for those who live alone. They can easily be taken advantage of by con artists and other crooks.
Alzheimer’s patients and their families do not have to be alone on this difficult journey. The home health care professionals at Comfort Keepers in Ft. Lauderdale will be there. We have the compassion and experience needed to help people cope with the changes in their lives. Our medical professionals allow people the dignity to stay in their own home. With Comfort Keepers, patients get the care they need.