Living With Someone Who Has Alzheimer

The diagnosis is devastating as most progressive fatal, or chronic diseases are, for not only the one being diagnosed, but also for the ones who are living with the individual. When you understand the signs and symptoms of a disease it becomes easier to accept that the person is not in control of the things that occur that may bother you. It also can be beneficial to know what to expect ahead of time so that you can be prepared and also so that you can keep the individual as safe as possible.

The usual first sign of Alzheimer’s is very mild forgetfulness and complaints of memory problems such as not remembering where something was placed, or not being able to remember where you parked the car, or not being able to remember the names of individuals that you recently met.

After the mild initial stage, which by the way is before the disease is usually diagnosed; the individual will slowly progress into the next stage of Alzheimer’s where others will start to notice that there is something “off” about the individual such as the person becomes easily confused, gets lost while driving or walking in familiar areas, work performance declines and the individual has difficulty reading or following instructions. The individual may deny these things when confronted.

The next stage is when the symptoms become obvious to the individual and to others and is when diagnoses usually take place for Alzheimer’s disease. Now that there is a diagnosis, there is a reason for the signs and symptoms and plans can be made to accommodate the individual and keep them safe.

The individual will need assistance with financial matters, and will not be able to travel alone. The individual will no longer be able to perform complex or dangerous tasks. The individual may exhibit anxiety or even denial in the face of these symptoms and signs.

As the disease progresses the individual will begin to repeat sentences or motions and may even occasionally forget family names such as the spouses or the names of sons and daughters.

In the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease the symptoms worsen to include dementia for place or time and the loss of all verbal ability or being able to perform daily self-care tasks, even the inability to swallow or sit up. This is when 24-hour care is necessary and most individual are placed in nursing homes or full-service care facilities.

Early diagnosis means that there can be more good years as certain medications prescribed for Alzheimer’s can slow the progression of the disease. There is ongoing research for new medications and for an eventual cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

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