Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative condition which affects the brain and its ability to function normally in areas such as memory, problem solving and language. Generally, it occurs in people over the age of 65, although in some cases, people develop it in their 40s and 50s. As one of the leading causes of dementia, it is estimated that Alzheimer’s affects around 5 million Americans – a number that is expected to increase as our population ages.
Early signs of Alzheimer’s include:
- Memory lapses (for example, forgetting where you’ve put something in the house).
- Forgetting recent events.
- Getting lost on routes which should be familiar.
- Missing important appointments or special events.
- Difficulty recalling a name or word in conversation.
As this is a progressive disease, later symptoms are much more severe:
- The inability to follow a conversation.
- Unnecessarily repeating things in conversation.
- Difficulty carrying out a set of instructions or routine (getting dressed, folding clothes, cooking, etc.).
- Dramatic personality changes, occasionally accompanied by aggression, irritation and depression.
- Problems judging distances, navigating physical obstacles and seeing in three-dimensions.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Confusion over dates, times and locations.
The Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer’s
Dementia is a category of symptoms grouped around the ability to perform mental tasks, while Alzheimer’s is a disease that has symptoms which fall into the dementia category. There are many forms of dementia, some of which can be treated very successfully. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s and scientists aren’t sure exactly what causes the disease, although genetics, hypertension and the aging process itself are known to be risk factors.
Memory Care and Support Services from United Methodist Homes of New Jersey
At United Methodist Homes of New Jersey, we understand that caring for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s can be stressful and emotionally draining and, as the disease progresses, it may become impossible for you to manage without qualified support.
This is why we offer specialized memory support and care services specifically geared towards assisting people with Alzheimer’s and other dementia. By focusing on onsite customized care plans and activities within our comfortable apartment-style community, we ensure your loved one maintains his or her dignity and quality of life at all times.
This content was originally published at http://www.umh-nj.org/blog/what-are-the-symptoms-of-alzheimers-disease/