Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological disorder that affects an individual’s cognitive ability and functional independence. This form of memory impairment is the most common form of dementia, and can directly impact all aspects of a person’s life.
Alzheimer’s can cause many different difficulties to someone’s day-to-day life. While it’s commonly believed that it only causes memory loss, it can also impact almost every part of someone’s life. Alzheimer’s affects their ability to communicate, remember important things, focus, and even take care of oneself.
Alzheimer’s is an extremely complicated neurological condition that can be difficult, or even completely impossible, to manage and navigate on one’s own.
What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and affects almost 6 million Americans every year. It’s a progressive brain disorder that directly affects a person’s memory, cognitive function, and independency. While the direct cause of Alzheimer’s disease is unknown, it’s best characterized by an accumulation of protein structures in the brain.
These protein structures clump together to form small deposits that lead to the deterioration and of different brain cells. This begins to affect a person’s memory alongside their abilities to communicate and make decisions.
Alzheimer’s disease is considered extremely complex, and there is no one-size-fits-all way to describe its effect on a person. Symptoms and progression can vary from person to person, and there isn’t currently a cure. However, there are treatment methods available to help manage the effects of this disease on someone’s life.
What Are the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s?
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease vary per person, but there are some common symptoms, including::
- Memory loss
- Behavior and personality changes
- Social isolation
Due to the way Alzheimer’s affects the brain, it typically begins slowly. A person may begin forgetting recent conversations they’ve had or things they’ve done, or even forget someone’s name or an event they attended. As the disease progresses and continues to develop, more symptoms begin to occur.
Because this disease can progress at almost any speed, it’s important to know the early signs. If you worry your loved one is exhibiting signs of Alzheimer’s disease or any other form of dementia, you should get them to visit a health care professional as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and management can help you and your family prepare for potential challenges ahead.
What Day-to-Day Activities Does Alzheimer’s Disease Affect?
The nature of this condition can affect a wide range of activities and make routine tasks significantly more challenging for a person dealing with memory impairment.
Almost any activity that requires memory can become increasingly difficult. Alzheimer’s often affects a person’s short-term memory, making it harder to remember faces, name, and important events or dates. A person with Alzheimer’s may begin to forget conversations or appointments, causing them to miss important things they should attend.
It also affects their ability to communicate. Finding the right words or phrases can be a struggle, or they may begin repeating questions or statements. This can make communication frustrating for all parties involved, as meaningful conversation can become much more difficult.
Alzheimer’s significantly affects decision-making and problem-solving abilities. This can cause difficulty when it comes to all sorts of daily things, whether it’s managing finances, planning a schedule, following recipes, or even deciding to brush their teeth. They may decide to dress inappropriately, avoid eating, or wander around the area.
Due to the impairment caused by Alzheimer’s, it can become significantly more problematic if a person with this disease lives alone. They may decide to leave home and become lost, or make a wrong turn and find themselves somewhere they don’t recognize.
How Is Alzheimer’s Treated?
While there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there are a few ways to slow down the progression of the condition, including:
- Medication to regulate neurotransmitters in the brain that help with memory, mood, and the ability to think.
- Lifestyle management, such as regular exercise and a healthy diet.
- Supportive therapies to help with speech, cognitive function, and memory
What Is Memory Care?
Memory care communities are residential communities specifically designed to assist with complications associated with memory impairment. The teams on-site are trained to help residents struggling with conditions like Alzheimer’s to help minimize how these conditions affect a person’s life.
These communities help address all aspects of a person’s life. They provide programs to help train the brain to combat cognitive decline, and the buildings are safely set up to avoid residents becoming lost or confused. By helping each resident with a custom-tailored plan, these communities are an excellent way for a loved one to receive the care they need.