Alzheimers Symptoms Revealed

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the diseases in which most of the care revolves around the symptoms. The symptoms are significant in making the diagnosis, in understanding the progression from one stage of the disease to the next and in how the treatment plan is designed.

Alzheimer’s progresses from the first stage of the disease (mild) to the second stage (moderate) to the final stage (severe) in a usually slow progression. The symptoms worsen with each stage and so does the required amount of care. By the time the patient is in the moderate stage he or she is requiring a constant caregiver. The reason for the caregiver is because the person with Alzheimer’s cognitive abilities are rapidly declining by the time she or he is in the moderate stage of the disease. Cognitive functioning is necessary for all types of daily tasks from being able to plan, prepare and serve a meal to being able to bath and dress to get ready for the day. Tasks that require complex cognitive skills such as balancing a checkbook, going shopping ding housework and performing tasks required for maintaining employment are often those that are out of the reach of those in moderate stage Alzheimer’s.

The cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer’s include attention span, ability to make decisions, the ability to learn new things, memory retention, planning, perception, problem solving, being able to reason and the ability to think in terms of more than one step at a time. Daily tasks such as being able to get dressed, brush teeth, bath or take a shower, get dressed, plan the day’s activities, pay bills, prepare meals, or do household or employment tasks are all symptoms related to cognitive ability of the patient. When these cognitive symptoms get progressively worse as they do with Alzheimer’s the patient’s ability to safely function in daily tasks declines to the point where it is essential to have a caregiver for safety and health reasons.

Behavioral symptoms are perhaps the most confusing for family members and others close to the individual because they involve the attitude of the person, gestures that the individual makes that may be completely out of character, and reactions to situations may be completely inappropriate especially while out in public. Moods will completely change and baffle friends and family members.

The symptoms will define the disease from the diagnosis to the identifying of stages as the patient progresses through them. The treatment plan will be based on the symptoms and their severity. Caring for the Alzheimer’s disease patient will be largely based upon the symptoms and how they affect the health and safety of the individual. Understanding what symptoms is part of the disease and why the individual is acting the way they do allow others to have compassion for the patients and assures that the quality of care will be appropriate. It is important that all caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s be educated regarding the symptoms and the progression of the symptoms.

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