I have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. This is certainly a “Stop Sign” in my life, and I do not know which way to turn. I have been secretly gathering info on Alzheimer’s disease, and will continue to do so as long as I am mentally able to try to make decisions about what to do next. Everything I find is so scientific and complicated. What do I tell my kids to make them understand why their father or grandfather doesn’t recognize them anymore? The information below on Alzheimer’s disease is aimed at children and families, so read it together.
Alzheimer’s: What Is It?
Alzheimer’s disease is a form of a mental disorder known as “dementia”. Dementia is a brain disorder that seriously hampers the brain’s ability to process rational or normal thought and inhibits the daily activities of its sufferers because of this. Alzheimer’s disease, therefore, affects the part of the brain that is responsible for thought, memory, and language. You must understand that this will get worse as time goes by.
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the leading causes of death in America. The German physician Alois Alzheimer first identified this disorder in 1907. This disorder is a serious illness that affects the memory ability of the brain, capability of learning, making rational decisions and capacity to function routinely.
Alzheimer’s disease will rob me of my memories, my personality, and the ability to complete daily activities. For the longest time, it was believed that nothing could be done to prevent this awful disease; that it was simply something that people had to look forward to when they reached their golden years. However, new research indicates that there are new ways to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. I am afraid it is too late for me.
The hallmark sign of Alzheimer’s disease is the loss of memory. I have been trying to hide this, but I have begun to concern myself with this disease, and have been having increasing episodes of forgetfulness. Although forgetfulness is a sign of Alzheimer’s disease, it is important to note that there are other signals that may herald the onset of this malady. Therefore, being knowledgeable about Alzheimer’s, through other signs, and is paramount for my health as well as your own.
Dealing with Alzheimer’s
When I heard the news that I had received an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, it was an emotionally devastating moment in my life. Before being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I underwent a variety of laboratory tests, such as medical assessments and laboratory measurements. There is no single test existing that will categorically give the Alzheimer’s diagnosis, so I wanted to complete all of the tests before letting you know.
With this proactive stance, diagnosticians have been able to devise a set of Alzheimer’s disease testing tools that can detect symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in its earlier stages. As of yet, there is no single diagnostic test that is able to determine if a person has Alzheimer’s disease, but the battery of testing that is available makes it possible for physicians to diagnose it with about 90 percent accuracy. Alzheimer’s disease testing can take anywhere from one day to several weeks to ensure accuracy and proper diagnosis. I have gone through this battery of tests so there is no mistake.
An Alzheimer’s test was important to ensure that I wasn’t just going through the usual memory loss associated with age; however, sometimes an Alzheimer’s test isn’t necessary. Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t just affect a person’s memory; it can make people see things that aren’t there, and even send them into screaming fits.
Living With Alzheimer’s
Living with Alzheimer’s can be a crippling experience for both the disease sufferer and the family that is involved. There are many moments of misunderstanding or confusion for most and the symptoms can become frustrating and difficult. The loss of memory and other associated factors can often cause immense separation in families and can create a nervous tension on relationships that is not necessary if suitable information is available and utilized by all parties involved.
Finding in-house Alzheimer’s help should not be an emotionally laden issue for the entire family. Tackling this need in an organized way, from evaluating to planning, is the key to making in-house Alzheimer’s help feasible. First, you should sit down and evaluate the needs of the family caregiver and the patient. From there, creating a job list and a set of guidelines becomes easy to make and follow.
Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can be a daunting task. You will need all of the support you can get, along with the latest and most significant Alzheimer’s info and research. It is a confusing time, and the more you know, the more confident you will feel in your ability to give your loved one the best possible care and support. It is also important to build a support network that will help you to avoid the common problems associated with caretaker burnout.
Don’t worry, you my beautiful family. I am very sorry I have brought this malady upon you and your own busy life-styles. It was not my intent to become a burden on you. I sincerely apologize, and in case I forgot to tell you today, I Love You!
David McFarlane is a proud contributing author and writes articles on Alzheimer’s. You can visit David’s site at http://www.alzheimers-world.com
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