Memory loss is a disruptive symptom of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Alzheimer’s is a disease of the brain that causes cognitive decline and memory deficits and impairs the ability to reason and think clearly. Here are six facts about Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss.
1. Memory Loss May Be Unnoticeable
When seniors have early-stage Alzheimer’s, they may not exhibit any outward symptoms. Instead, mild forgetfulness may be the only sign of cognitive impairment. In fact, the only way brain changes may be identified is through diagnostic imaging tests, such as brain scans. As Alzheimer’s disease advances, your senior loved one may lose his or her abstract thinking abilities and frequently misplace familiar objects, such as keys. During this time, your loved one may be unable to hold a job or live alone.
If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, help is just a phone call away. There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading senior home care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.
2. Seniors May Not Remember Personal Details
Alzheimer’s disease may also cause seniors to forget things about themselves. Seniors may not remember when or where they were born. They may not even remember their own names or those of their children. Your loved one may have forgotten he or she has retired and wander away from home in an attempt to “go to work.” If your loved one forgets personal information, gently bring him or her back to reality, but don’t argue or use forceful language when redirecting or trying to orient him or her to the day, time, and place.
3. Aging Adults May Confuse the Roles of Family Members
As Alzheimer’s disease progresses even further, seniors may forget not only the names of their children and other family members but also their own roles in their families. For example, your loved one may believe a sister or niece is his or her mother. When cognitive abilities decrease to this level, you may need to provide more help with the activities of daily living, such as grooming, dressing, bathing, and toileting.
Aging adults who need help managing mental and physical health issues can benefit from the assistance of highly trained professional caregivers. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional elder care. Philadelphia, PA, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
4. Older Adults Can Retain the Ability to Enjoy Music & Photographs
Even with severe cognitive decline, seniors with Alzheimer’s and memory loss still have the ability to enjoy listening to music and looking at photographs. While the memory can be severely impaired, your loved one may still remember old songs and people in photographs from childhood.
5. Seniors May Experience Sundowning
Memory loss in seniors with Alzheimer’s may be more profound when the sun goes down. This phenomenon is known as sundowning, and in addition to an increase in confusion and memory loss, your loved one may become agitated, anxious, or even aggressive and combative. While sundowning is common in those with Alzheimer’s disease, it can also occur in seniors who don’t have dementia, cognition problems, or memory impairment. In fact, sundowning may be a sign of infection or medication side effects.
6. Medications Can Alleviate Some Symptoms
It’s important to note that while Alzheimer’s and subsequent memory loss may be heartbreaking for seniors and their families, there are treatment options. Certain medications can treat the symptoms related to poor judgment and reasoning skills as well as memory loss. Known as cholinesterase inhibitors, these medications won’t cure Alzheimer’s disease or completely restore the memory, but they can still be helpful in reducing certain symptoms.
Without the right assistance, Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors and their families to handle. If you’re looking for professional Alzheimer’s care, Philadelphia Home Care Assistance provides high-quality care aging adults and their families can count on. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are trained to help seniors with Alzheimer’s live happier and healthier lives, and we also provide specialized dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (215) 645-4663.