People have a lot of questions about Alzheimer’s. In this article, I’ll answer a few of the basics.
Is it just another name for “dementia”?
We can think of dementia as a large patio table umbrella covering several diseases that cause the symptoms of dementia. These symptoms can range from having no memory to difficulty finding the right words in speech, losing organizing skills, and even being unable to recognize shapes and sizes of common objects. Alzheimer’s is just one of many diseases that fit under this umbrella. Others include Lewy body disease, which is sometimes referred to as Parkinson’s dementia; vascular dementia caused by strokes; and pressure hydrocephalus due to head injuries.
What are the symptoms?
People who have Alzheimer’s exhibit various behavioral changes. They may become agitated for no apparent reason, and even scratch or bite. Use of profanity is a very common symptom. Many repeat things over and over. They sometimes wander off and getting lost, which can of course be very dangerous and confusing. Not remembering what they had for lunch or dinner that day shows memory issues. They recall events from 50 or 60 years ago in great detail, and talk like the events happened recently.
My dear Mom started becoming unable to pay her utility bills because she forgot they were due to be paid. And, she simply could not remember how to write out the check. Her memory was distorted and blurred as she tried so hard to recall the names of her own family members!
How does it progress?
Very generally, Alzheimer’s includes three stages of progression: mild, moderate, and severe/advanced. The duration of each of these stages varies depending on the person.
Mom went through all three stages of Alzheimer’s. The longest duration, for her, was in the first, mild stage. Because of this, she was – thankfully – able to remain in her home with assistance from a few of us, her children. Mom’s Alzheimer’s lasted between 8-9 years total.
Together, let’s age boldly,
To read more of Bernadette’s Writing the Digital Page articles, check out this one: “F*^# the Scales: Simple Exercise Habits for Seniors”
Feature Image Credit: Free-Photos