Whatever your age, you should not wait before consulting a doctor if you are experiencing memory loss. A memory screening is always helpful to patients and their families.
Aging itself is not necessarily related to lose of memory. Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic illness that deteriorates our cognitive functions.
A neuropsychological evaluation is often performed with a supplemental analysis of the blood, or magnetic resonance imaging. The diagnosis is complete once the doctor has studied the case and analyzed the neurological examination, as well as the neurological evaluation and additional tests.
In the beginning, it evolves in an insidiously subtle way. A diagnosis helps us to understand what would be otherwise incomprehensible behavior and attitudes.
Alzheimer’s disease provokes a decline in cognitive functions, which creates problems in performing daily activities such as managing one’s medicine or using public transport when alone. It progressively hinders patients from dressing themselves and eating on their own. It leads to a loss of autonomy. Such symptoms are sometime accompanied by an alteration in behavior and humor. The patient becomes agitated, anxious, depressed and sometimes experiences hallucinations.
The loss of one’s personal autonomy and independence may have devastating repercussions not only on the patient but also for their family and friends.
Existing drug treatments help stabilize the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Other drugs are currently being studied, but for now, although we can slow the disease’s progress, we cannot heal it.
Memory needs to be cared for and worked on. It is possible to improve a patient’s daily life by taking advantage of any of his or her faculties that may remain in tact.
Specific activities are decided upon with the patient and their family. The idea is to make daily life easier. Motivation and pleasure are important elements in prolonging the patient’s autonomy.
You have more time to care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease if you accept outside help. Little by little, you will need to learn a new way of living and adapting to the many changes in your daily life.