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What is Alzheimer’s Disease?  Alzheimer's Disease is a type of dementia that leads to memory, thinking and behavior problems.  It is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of all cases.  Alzheimer's disease gets worse over time and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. In the beginning, memory problems are mild, but as the disease progresses, patients become unaware of their environment and may no longer be able to carry on a conversation.

Alzheimer’s Disease Symptoms

  • Memory Loss – People may forget things they’ve learned as well as dates and events. They may also ask for the same information over and over again.
  • Trouble Planning or Solving Problems – You may notice a loved one taking longer to complete tasks they used to be able to do much quicker. You may also notice they have trouble following directions, even a simple recipe becomes complex.
  • Confusion with Time or Place – People with Alzheimer’s often lose track of time. They also forget where they are and even how they got there.
  • Misplacing Things & Unable to Retrace Steps – As people forget dates and events they may also start to misplace objects. Although they would be able to retrace their steps in the past and find what they were looking for, that is no longer the case. This may lead them to accuse others of stealing because they can no longer find what’s theirs.
  • Mood & Personality Changes – Because of the changes that are going on in their mind, you may notice major shifts in mood and personality. They may become confused, suspicious and even depressed.

Helping People with Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Keep a Daily Routine – This helps to avoid confusion and lets the person know what can be expected. Alzheimer’s patients like routines
  • Don’t Overstimulate – Keep things simple. Say one thing at a time. Present only one idea so that the person can understand it the best they can.
  • Be Reassuring – Always try to make the person feel safe and comfortable. Sometimes even saying the words, “You are safe with me” is enough to make that person feel at ease.
  • Don’t Yell or Argue – As frustrated as you may get, imagine how the patient feels. They can no longer grasp what is going on inside their own heads. Don’t yell or argue out of frustration. Be the calming voice they need.

 

   Alzheimer’s Association Help Line:     800-272-3900

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America:   866-232-8484