Here you will find articles that help you to better understand what to expect when living with Alzheimer’s. Whether you were just diagnosed with the disease or you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s this section will help you gain insight into how to manage a debilitating illness coming away with a sense of hope.
Alzheimer’s Disease - What Is It?
Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative condition that gradually or rapidly destroys a person’s memory and mental faculties. Alzheimer’s may start with confusions or forgetfulness, but can quickly progress to the point where the individual can’t remember the names of friends or loved ones. Friends and family members will undoubtedly notice as the disease progresses changes in the person’s demeanor and behavior. They may have difficulty communicating or remembering the right words for objects. It’s upsetting for loved ones to watch, and even more distressing for the person living with Alzheimer’s.
There are many different causes for Alzheimer’s. It’s a genetic condition, which means if you have a relative who has it, you are at risk for Alzheimer’s Disease. However, there are measures you can take to prevent it. Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease are connected. An individual with Alzheimer’s experiences a decline in cognitive functioning because of changes in the brain. Part of these issues is related to memory loss and mental faculties. Alzheimer’s causes dementia, a significant impairment in daily functioning specifically impacting intellectual abilities.
Medication and Treatment
Some medicines can slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s so that the sufferer lives a better life but is still a progressive disease, and there is no cure. The medications and medical interventions can temporarily relieve some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. An individual may find they can function on their own, without the assistance of family members or a medical aide for an extended period. Despite the benefits of medications, it’s imperative that an individual with Alzheimer’s seek medical care where they’re managed for their condition on a regular basis. There are specialists in the disease that will notices changes in the person’s mental and physical states and be able to help the individual stay as healthy as possible despite living with this chronic and sometimes debilitating condition.
Memory Loss Symptoms
There are early symptoms of Alzheimer’s such as confusion or memory problems. As the disease progresses, you’ll start to notice it impact different areas of a person’s life. Here are some memory issues that a person may experience:
- Asking the same questions over and over without recognition of the behavior
- Forgetfulness - not recalling important appointments or obligations
- Forgetting important people’s names such as friends or loved ones
- Misplacing objects persistently
- Getting lost in places the person has visited many times
- Forgetting the words for common everyday objects
The memory loss symptoms of Alzheimer’s can be troubling for the sufferer and the family members. The person may become frustrated that they can’t remember the names for things, and experience anxiety or depression as a result.
Mental Health Issues from Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s impacts all parts of an individual’s life including their mental health. When a person forgets their family and friends, it can be devastating. When an individual is desperately trying to find a principal object and walking in circles for hours, it can make them feel exasperated. The symptoms of Alzheimer’s sometimes can’t be controlled, and that is upsetting to the person afflicted with the condition. Here are some mental health issues that come along with Alzheimer’s.
- Low mood or depression
- Social isolation
- Erratic mood shifts or mood swings
- Paranoia or lack of trust in others
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping patterns change
- Inappropriate public behavior
People who have an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can experience a variety of emotions and might benefit from counseling or therapy. They could feel depressed, anxious or socially isolated. Talking with a counselor can help them through these feelings. Online counseling is an option for these individuals. They can speak to a counselor out of the privacy of their home without fear of traveling to a local counselor’s office. If the person is struggling with memory loss, they might not be able to remember the physical location of a therapist’s office.
When you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s or you’re a caregiver for someone with the condition, it can be taxing on your mind. You might not have anyone to talk to about your experiences. Online counseling is an excellent place to discuss your emotions and challenges with caring for someone with Alzheimer’s.
If you want to talk more about Alzheimer’s whether you have it or have a loved one with the disease, there is an online counselor who will listen. You don’t have to suffer alone. Check out our list of online counselors who want to help you navigate through this severe illness. You are not alone. The counselors at BetterHelp are available to support you.