Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological disorder in which the brain cells start degenerating and dying, thus, causing a steady damage to memory and mental health. It is the most common form of Dementia in people above 65 years of age that starts moderately but becomes progressively worse. Alzheimer’s disease not only causes memory loss but also impairs thinking skills and the ability to carry out simple tasks.
Early Onset Alzheimer's: This is a rare form of Alzheimer’s and is most commonly diagnosed in people aged 40 to 50 years. People suffering from Down’s syndrome are susceptible to this type of Alzheimer’s.
Late Onset Alzheimer’s: This is the most common form of Alzheimer’s and is seen in people aged 65 or more. Also known as Sporadic Alzheimer’s, hereditary factors might play a role in the development of this condition.
Familial Alzheimer’s: This is the rarest form of Alzheimer’s disease. Also an early onset form, it is usually seen in people whose family members of at least two generations have had Alzheimer’s.
Mild symptoms start appearing in aged people, which gradually become more serious.
Memory Problems: An Alzheimer’s patient finds it difficult to retain or remember any new information due to damage caused to the hippocampus part of the brain. These memory lapses cause the patient to forget recent conversations, lose items around the house, lose track of important dates and even make him unable to recognize faces.
Difficulty In Performing Tasks: Due to increased forgetfulness, the patient is unable to perform complex tasks such as calculating numbers or exercise judgments. The ability to reason becomes weak and he is not able to operate his decision making skills like handling finances, understanding sequential activities etc.
Linguistic Errors: The patient struggles to find the right words while speaking and often repeats sentences. He hesitates and makes errors while reading, writing and speaking.
Mood Swings: The patient appears withdrawn, depressed and apathetic. He becomes less expressive and loses interest in his hobbies. He feels delusional about his surroundings and experiences changes in sleeping patterns.
Behavioral Changes: The Alzheimer’s patient acts out of his character. He becomes obsessive or agitated over small things and acts in a socially unacceptable behavior.
Physical Ability: The disease may also affect the day to day physical activities of the patient as he loses his sense of coordination and mobility. Even the most basic tasks such as eating, bathing and getting dressed require assistance from a caregiver.
Need for assisted living facilities
Alzheimer’s is an irreversible disease; however, effective care in assisted living facilities can help in improving the condition of the patient.
Medications: Well trained staff gives correct dosage of medications to the patient that help in treating various symptoms and slowing the progression of the disease.
Other Diseases: Any other medical conditions occurred alongside Alzheimer’s disease can be effectively managed.
Support Activities: Assisted living homes organize many daily activities which create a sense of purpose and belongingness among its residents.
The staff at the assisted living facilities is trained to care for patients suffering from different stages of Alzheimer’s disease, thus, ensuring a better standard of living for them.
2 Yaers Ago, Monday, July 20, 2015, 05:13:02