Forgetting important events of your life including your spouse’s birthday, wedding anniversary, important official meeting occasionally is fine!! But what if it keeps repeating more than often?
Have you ever been through above mentioned scenarios either within family or at workplace or heard your friends sharing such a condition at their house? Wondering what the disease could be?
The condition is called as ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
What is Alzheimer’s disease? Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive type of dementia that causes problems with thinking, memory and behavior. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease interfere with daily tasks of individual as well!
In the initial stages, the affected person suffers from mild confusion and difficulty remembering past events which gradually progresses and the person even forgets important and basic information about their own life!!
What causes Alzheimer’s disease? The exact cause of the disease is unknown. However, the combination of genetic, environmental and life style factors have an association in the causation. These factors act individually or in combination and leads to shrinkage of parts of the brain thus affecting the function of the part involved!
Risk factors – The disease can affect any one but the following conditions are considered as high risk –
- Increasing age
- Women gender
- Family history of the disease
- Head injury
- People with heart disease
- Habits like smoking
- Diabetes individuals
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease – Wide range of symptoms can be noted which differs from each individual and the most common symptoms include –
- Forget about recent conversations or events or misplace items
- Forget about name, age, place, so on
- Repeat same statements or questions repeatedly
- Getting lost in familiar places
- Forget names of family members and the relationships
- Multitasking ability reduces
- Response to everyday activities reduces like turning off stove when milk is overflowing and so on
- Finds difficult in performing familiar tasks like bathing, cooking
- Mood disturbances
- Altered sleeping pattern
Diagnosis – History and clinical examination are self explanatory however to rule out other major brain disorders and existing or age related co morbidities, the physician takes a call on investigations
Treatment – based on the cause, Physician decides the right medications. But Alzheimer’s is never curable. The treatment aims at reducing the symptoms and preventing further complications!
How to cope up with Alzheimer’s or how to help the person with Alzheimer’s? Extending a supportive hand plays a major role in helping a person with the disease. Coping up with Alzheimer’s is not easy as the person forgets the simplest of information. It is in your hands to help them lead a stress free and healthy life. Support to be extended include –
- Always keep keys, wallet, mobile phones at same place in the house so that they don’t find difficulty in finding them
- Provide a mobile phone with location tracking ability so that they can be easily traced if lost
- Arrange doctor appointments on regular basis
- Help them with a daily schedule and ask to tick those completed effectively
- Install handrails on staircases and in bathrooms
- Provide slippers and shoes with good grip
- Keep family members details in wallet
- Avoid excess mirrors at home as they can add to confusion
- Regular exercise should be part of daily routine
- Provide healthy and nutritious food
Alzheimer’s needs care and support from the family.
Be more than well – be well prepared.