Caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia can be very difficult. Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain. It is the most common form of dementia. Profound changes in personality and mental functioning are not unusual. Often, our relationships are changed significantly by this.
Signs of Dementia
Signs of dementia can vary from one person to another. Frequently they include:
- Increasing levels of forgetfulness
- An inability to carry out simple tasks
- Difficulty in remembering words or in forming coherent sentences
- Confusion, hallucinations, or paranoia
If dementia is suspected, consult a physician familiar with Alzheimer's disease as soon as possible. Sometimes medications, underlying illness such as strokes, depression, or other conditions, mimic dementia. When this is the case, problems can be corrected, improved, or controlled.
Dealing with Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's disease is not reversible. However, early diagnosis is important because the progression of the disease can often be slowed with the help of medications and the symptoms also can be managed. Early detection means time for everyone to plan ahead.
Most caregivers want to know what to expect, how to deal with changes that result from Alzheimer's, help that might be needed, and how to find it. Persons with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers can find help through the Alzheimer's Association and the Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center. These organizations provide excellent information to caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's disease.
Sourced from "Because We Care: A Guide For People Who Care", published by the United States Administration on Aging.
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