It is important to know that the term dementia is not a specific disease, it is a group of named diseases with specific symptoms. Each disease, Alzheimer’s included, affects the brain severely enough to impact daily living. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, accounting for roughly 50-80% of dementia cases.
The disease is one of several named dementias that cause memory loss and intellectual decline, serious enough to interfere with normal daily life. Dementia is NOT a sign of aging, and needs to be properly diagnosed.
The disease accounts for roughly 60-80% of all dementias diagnosed. Though it primarily appears in people over 65, it can develop in those as young as 40.
There are 7 stages of Alzheimer’s, 1 to 7, from mild to severe. It is vital that if you suspect a loved one is beginning to show memory loss that they be diagnosed.
There are no cures for dementia and Alzheimer’s at this time. There are drugs that treat the symptoms though, making the need for a diagnosis so important.
No two cases of Alzheimer’s and dementia are the same. Generally the person suffering progressively loses memory and cognitive abilities. Activities of daily living such as talking, dressing, eating, bathing and washing are unable to be done without assistance. By the later stages the person will no longer be able to move or walk, so muscles will atrophy.
The first step is get to a doctor and get a diagnosis of the dementia. Once you know what you and your loved ones are facing, a visit to your local Alzheimer’s Association will help. If you are overwhelmed by the care you need to provide, please call Thoughtful Care and we will work with you to develop a care plan that will work for you.