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What is Alzheimer's


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            Alzheimer’s disease is a serious condition that affects the elderly every day. As frightening as Alzheimer’s can be to the person who is diagnosed, it can be just as frightening to family and friends. Family and friends have to contend with losing the love, memories and friendship of their loved one. Where as the person who has Alzheimer’s normally feels as if they are losing their mind and ultimately the inability to do normal everyday activities. The thought of this disease invading one’s life and family are frightening, but early recognition and treatment are about the only way to help in the fight against this disease at the moment.



            Alzheimer’s is currently an incurable disease. As well, doctors and scientists have several theories but no positive conclusions on how this disease develops. Even diagnoses are not easy since many of the early signs of Alzheimer’s are dismissed as symptoms of aging. Therefore many patients who are diagnosed are diagnosed later on where it is person is already severely disabled by the disease.



            Early signs of Alzheimer’s can be as minimal as forgetting a name, a phone number or even a memory. This is also a normal part of aging and therefore dismissed by family. Unfortunately this early sign of Alzheimer’s can be diagnosed and treatment to slow down the progression of the disease can be set up. The next sign after forgetfulness is trouble or inability to perform normal everyday tasks such as tying your shoes or buttoning a blouse. This inability to remember or perform functions causes a person to become very frustrated.



It is at this point in time the persons normal characteristics start to change. As someone who is aging, they do not like to feel like they can’t do something, especially if it is easy everyday tasks. Reverting inward, holding onto their feelings, and denying their inability to function are normal reactions for a person with Alzheimer’s.  A normally cheery, happy grandma or grandpa can become short, nasty and curt. They tend to lash out at people who try to help them because they feel that people are pitying them or treating them like a child.



Ultimately recall and memory become a thing of the past and the ability to perform tasks goes out the window. Due to the worsening symptoms Alzheimer’s patients can end up losing their ability to speak, walk, and can end up paralyzed. It is at this point where many families give up caring for the person with Alzheimer’s. Nursing homes provide 24 hour, professional care. This route is normally very upsetting to both the patient and the family and can cause feelings of guilt and anxiety.

This is why it is so important to notice the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s as early as possible.  People who are diagnosed early can be given programs and steps to take to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s. Families are encouraged to aid and help their family members to stick to a schedule, support their needs and overall help them with recall and memory. The idea is to help the person rather then discourage them. Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is just as disheartening to the family of a person. Support groups are available for the families to come to terms and boost their attitude to help their family members.