The signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
Whilst there is no individual cause of Alzheimer’s disease, age is the greatest factor. Approximately one in 14 people aged over 65 are affected, with around one in six aged over 80 suffering from the disease. However, many people under 65 also suffer from Alzheimer’s, with figures in the UK reporting there are of more than 17,000 people affected.
As the most common cause of dementia, Alzheimer’s can be an extremely confusing and frustrating condition. It is common for people who have Alzheimer’s to believe that there isn’t anything wrong with them and will then get cross when friends or relatives try to help in any way.
Those who are suffering from Alzheimer’s will really struggle with their ability to remember things and processing new information will become increasingly difficult. For example, consistently forgetting names, birthdays, places, so look out for patterns of behaviour like this.
Be aware that forgetting things, such as those mentioned above, can cause great frustration and confusion for the sufferer and can, in some instances, lead to depression.
Alzheimer’s is often described as a condition that changes the personality, so look out for changes in temperament, sense of humour and how they react and communicate with others.
Do I have Alzheimer’s disease?-
There are numerous signs that a person who has Alzheimer’s might display. Here is a list of the most common symptoms:
- Memory loss that disrupts everyday life. For example, cannot recollect close family name’s, important dates, where you left items.
- Poor problem solving for example being unable to calculate bills correctly.
- Struggling to complete common tasks such as working a computer or mobile phone.
- Feeling inpatient or frustrated with other people and with yourself.
- Misplacing items for example forgetting where you put an object and struggling to retrace where you left it.
- Changes to vision so a pronounced difficulty when reading.
- Struggling to communicate so forgetting how to hold a conversation and regularly forgetting words.
- Refraining from social activities that you used to enjoy as you may have forgotten the rules to a game or sport, for example.
What are the emotional symptoms of Alzheimer’s?-
- Social isolation
- Lack or increase of sleep
- Mood swings
7 helpful tips for people living with Alzheimer’s-
- Accept that you have a challenging condition. This is the first step towards leading a better, fulfilled life. Do not try to cover up the condition as they may cause additional stress and frustration. Research the condition and be aware that there will be changes to how you behave, communicate and how you memorise things.
- Try to understand the changes in your abilities and attempt to adapt to these changes by creating a coping method. New ways to cope with certain situations will give you a sense of control and achievement.
- Identify the times and situations where you’ve found particular tasks more challenging and find the solution that works best with you. Working with a friend on this could be a great help.
- Learn to accept help from others. This will make life smoother and will eventually make maintaining your independence much easier.
- Set daily goals for yourself, such as: ‘Today I will play a board game and will try to remain calm’ and celebrate your achievements.
- Exercise regularly and experience the outdoors as often as possible. This will keep you mentally and physically active.
- Know that you are not alone. There are around 800,000 people with Alzheimer’s in the UK, use online forums, meeting groups and support networks to speak to others who are living with the condition.
The Priory has been helping people with Alzheimer’s disease and early onset Alzheimer’s for many years, as specialist in care and management of this disease. We understand that everyone's situation is different, which is why we ensure that everyone has a unique care plan tailored to their needs. The care plan looks to embrace the wider situation, involving family and friends to help the person remain integrated and valued as the disease progresses.
For more information on the treatment options available at the Priory click here.
For further details on how Priory can provide you with further assistance regarding Alzheimer's Disease, please call: 0845 277 4679. For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here.