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Alzheimer’s - Can You Live With It?

Living with Alzheimer’s can be a crippling experience for both the disease sufferer and the family that is involved. There are many moments of misunderstanding or confusion for most and the symptoms can become frustrating and difficult. The loss of memory and other associated factors can often cause immense separation in families and can create a nervous tension on relationships that is not necessary if suitable information is available and utilized by all parties involved.

Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disorder. The effects on the brain are relentless as the memory is progressively destroyed and the capability to learn, make judgments, and communicate and carry out normal daily tasks is greatly diminished to the point of total extinction. It is often painfully difficult to watch a family member seemingly “waste away” in their own mind; the struggle to maintain a form of sanity is often too much for many relatives and they, sadly, distance themselves from the sufferer.

Educating Your Family

One of the best ways to ease the pain of the isolation of Alzheimer’s is to inform your family, and those around the sufferer, of the disorder and encourage them to learn more, ask questions, and most importantly to simply be available. It is important to understand some basic fundamentals about this disorder so that compassionate, relevant care and treatment can be properly administered without making the sufferer feel silly or inept.

It is also important to realize that, while Alzheimer’s might be frightening or confusing to some, it is not contagious or particularly dangerous if proper care is given. There are no cures for this disorder, however effective care and moral support are often the best notions with which to curb the effects of Alzheimer’s and help prevent depression and other related mental afflictions from following in its destructive wake.

Warning Signs

It is also vitally important to understand some of the warning signs of Alzheimer’s. While memory loss is reasonable and expected as we age, the symptoms of Alzheimer’s are significantly greater and are often accompanied by other symptoms. People suffering this disorder often have difficulty with general communication, thinking, reasoning, comparing, and learning new skills or possibly even re-learning old skills.

It is hard to establish a clear warning sign level as some of these symptoms might be a part of normal behavior or may be related to another disorder entirely. There are, however, ten basic warning signs for Alzheimer’s:

1. Memory loss
2. Difficulty performing familiar tasks
3. Language problems
4. Becoming disoriented
5. Poor judgment
6. Problems with complex mental tasks
7. Misplacing items
8. Mood or behavior changes
9. Confusion, fear, suspicion
10. Loss of initiative

These are some acknowledged symptoms or warning signs of Alzheimer’s. As we age, our bodies change and often times we lose capabilities that we once had. With Alzheimer’s, many feel that they are losing more than just abilities but rather that they are losing their minds.



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