November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. As a person with family members on both sides who have suffered from dementia in general and Alzheimer’s in particular, I wanted to share this with you, from the Alzheimer’s Disease Education & Referral center.
The first symptoms of Alzheimer’s vary from person to person. For many, difficulty with tasks like word-finding, vision/spatial issues, and impaired reasoning or judgment, may signal the very early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Typically, Alzheimer’s progresses in three stages:
• Mild Alzheimer’s Disease—at this stage, people experience more than just forgetfulness. Problems can include wandering and getting lost, trouble handling money and paying bills, repeating questions, taking longer to complete normal daily tasks, and personality and behavior changes. People are often diagnosed in this stage.
• Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease—In this stage, damage occurs in areas of the brain that control language, reasoning, sensory processing, and conscious thought. Memory loss and confusion grow worse, and people begin to have problems recognizing family and friends. They may be unable to learn new things, carry out multistep tasks such as getting dressed, or cope with new situations. In addition, people at this stage may have hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia and may behave impulsively.
• Severe Alzheimer’s Disease—People with severe Alzheimer’s cannot communicate and are completely dependent on others for their care. Near the end, the person may be in bed most or all of the time as the body shuts down.
If you want to learn more about Alzheimer’s basics, check out the National Institute on Aging website.
One final thought: since I live with the possibility of some form of dementia in my genes, I am scrupulous about keeping my brain sharp. Check out my Page – Important facts about your brain (and exercise benefits) for more helpful information.