If you or your loved one have just received an initial diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, you may be wondering what to expect and may even be looking to make long-term care plans. Alzheimer’s Disease is progressive, and over time, patients will require more assistance with daily living activities as well as to improve their quality of life.
What is Alzheimer’s?
There are many causes of dementia, and Alzheimer’s is one of the most common ones, accounting for 60 to 80% of all dementia cases. With Alzheimer’s, patients start to experience a progressive loss in memory and cognitive functioning. It’s important to take note that Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging, unlike general forgetfulness. If your symptoms are interfering with your daily life, you will start to require a higher level of assistance over time.
The Progressive Nature of Alzheimer’s in Seniors
If an individual below the age of 65 years develops Alzheimer’s, this is known as younger-onset Alzheimer’s. They can be in the early, mid, or late stages of Alzheimer’s. While the condition may start out with only mild symptoms, it is a progressive disease and patients will gradually lose the ability to live independently as they are unable to respond normally to their environment. However, that does not mean there are no options open to you. Long-term care arrangements can be made to improve the quality of life for individuals living with Alzheimer’s.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s in Seniors
You may be wondering whether you or your loved one are displaying symptoms of Alzheimer’s as you age. Because forgetfulness and a poorer memory can come with aging, you may not notice anything alarming. As a general rule, the first sign of Alzheimer’s is difficulty learning and remembering new information.
Some symptoms to watch out for include:
- Confusion and disorientation
- Paranoia about family and friends
- Deepened confusion about the date and time of day
- Behavioral changes
- Memory loss
- … and more!
Sometimes, symptoms may not be obvious to the individual themselves, and it is those around them who are better able to pick up on the condition. If you suspect that you or a loved one have Alzheimer’s, consult a doctor as soon as possible.
There is No Cure for Alzheimer’s
While there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, that does not mean that patients cannot live a happy and healthy life. With the right support and resources, it is definitely possible. You may be looking to make care arrangements for your loved one or even in advance for yourself once you learn of the diagnosis. Choosing a memory care provider you can trust is highly important, as they will be responsible for your loved one’s daily life.
A good memory care provider will be able to assure you of the following:
- Constant and regular communication with loved ones of the resident
- Stimulating activities that encourage participation amongst residents
- A securely designed neighborhood that is safe for residents who are prone to wandering
- Assistance with daily living activities to ensure that quality of life can be kept high