What is Alzheimer’s disease?
The most common form of dementia. A brain disorder that, simply put, affects the daily life of older people – leads to memory loss and changes in cognitive skills. It is important to note that not every memory loss means Alzheimer’s. According to the International Alzheimer’s Association, one in ten people over the age of 65 and almost a third of those over the age of 85 suffer from the disease.
Alzheimer’s symptoms usually develop slowly and gradually worsen. They progress from mild forgetfulness to widespread brain damage. The main risk factors for the disease are age, genetics and family history of various diseases observed in close and distant relatives. Of course, some side factors are also not to be overlooked. They can lead to the development of Alzheimer’s disease, so it is important to maintain a healthy heart, avoid high blood pressure, high cholesterol, avoid tobacco and excessive alcohol drinking. Maintaining social contacts and exercising the body and mind can also help protect against the disease.
Normal change or early symptoms of Alzheimer’s?
In many people, memory problems trigger a panic fear of dementia. This fear is now always justified because at the age of 60 our brain no longer functions in the same way – memory weakens but not necessarily in the direction of Alzheimer’s. As we age, it is important to know the difference between normal change in memory and the early symptoms of dementia. We will give you a few examples that reveal the sure symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
Familiar tasks seem difficult
People with dementia have trouble completing tasks they would normally perform without conscious effort. If you notice that your loved one has trouble with the TV remote control or does not remember how to turn on the microwave, for example, you can take the necessary measures and accompany him for an examination. There are also frequent cases in which our elderly relatives or acquaintances leave objects in unusual and illogical places such as keys in the refrigerator, a wallet in the oven, etc.
Repetitive actions and sentences
Alzheimer’s patients often forget that they have just said or done something, so they do it again and again and again. You’ve probably notices it in your adult relative who checks to see if the door is locked after he did it just a few minutes ago. He feeds a pet he has just fed, lights a cigarette while the old one is still in the ashtray next to him. There are many examples.
Wandering around familiar places
According to the International Alzheimer’s Association, 6 out of 10 people with dementia wander. They get lost in familiar places and begin to wander for no apparent reason. You may notice it if your elderly relative or acquaintance arrives at a meeting very late but cannot explain where he or she has been. It is also a visible sign if he starts wandering in the supermarket or gets lost while driving in his hometown.
Increased daytime nap
Studies show that people with Alzheimer’s disease may lose interest in life and become inactive. Until recently, active, engaged and mentally healthy people may start sitting in the dark room watching TV indefinitely or look as if they are constantly tired and uninterested in life. Another sign of Alzheimer’s lethargy is an increase in daytime sleep which leads us to the next physical sign of the disease.
People with Alzheimer’s disease, whether due to forgetfulness or the apathy we mentioned above often neglect to take care of their hygiene and appearance. If you notice that until recently your neat or elegantly dressed adult loved one is now disheveled and obviously neglecting to take care of himself, this may be a sign of Alzheimer’s or dementia. Note if an adult starts wearing the same clothes every day or if you see that he has suddenly stopped shaving, or if she no longer combs her hair regularly, as she has always done…
Each of the physical signs we mentioned can be associated with advancing age, not only with Alzheimer’s disease. Do not take any of these signs as a cause for concern, but do not ignore them either. It is important to know that even if your loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, nothing is lost! A change in lifestyle and proper care can help a person to maintain and continue their daily life (See “How a few easy activities help people with Alzheimer’s disease”).
Block Memory Care organizes activities and events that aim to help people with various forms of dementia by working on their cognitive abilities while enjoying their hobbies and live in a relaxed environment.
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