Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Drawing face of clock part of test for signs of alzheimers disease

How do I know if my Mom or Dad has signs of Alzheimer’s disease? Making the Decision to Seek Help

Did you know that 1 in 10 adults over the age of 65 will have Alzheimer’s disease? At the beginning the signs may be hard to discern. The early stages could be confused with simple signs of aging.

Quick reference for links mentioned in this article:

Mini Mental State Exam – 

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/info/20071/diagnosis/97/the_mmse_test

Science Alert Video on Phases of Alzheimer’s Disease and Effect on Brain – 

https://www.sciencealert.com/watch-this-animation-breaks-down-exactly-what-alzheimer-s-does-to-the-brain

Learn More About Alzheimer’s Disease –

www.AboutALZ.org

Helping Hands ADS Program –

http://www.helpinghandsrespite.care/services/adult-day-services/

 

Understanding the Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Understanding how Alzheimer’s disease effects the brain is helpful for those that are daily trying to help a loved one make sense of the sometimes incomprehensible. Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease but science is learning more and more about the causes and effects. However, armed with information, you do have the ability to maintain a higher quality of life for as long as possible during the progression of the disease.

At Helping Hands Respite Care our Adult Day Services (ADS) program can offer a level of consistency of care that can have a positive impact on not only the participant, but the loved ones bearing the brunt of the responsibilities of care. A regular schedule of stimulating activities and socialization, balanced nutrition, adequate hydration – all under a nurse’s supervision and well-trained care staff, can deliver positive results. Families report that their loved one comes home from the ADS program having experienced a stimulating day that results in a better appetite and better sleep —both beneficial for maintaining a quality of life.

Knowing when to seek care outside the home, or inside is so important. We recognize that all too often the direct family caregiver is reluctant to broach this subject with their loved one and will wait too long to get all of the benefits possible from a program like ADS. If you haven’t already, it may be time to ask your Doctor about an assessment or the Mini-mental exam. Being armed with information about the progression of Alzheimer’s disease will help. Here is a very short video that helps you understand the phases of the disease and how it acts on the brain. If you don’t watch the video right away, you can see our recap of the phases below the image. (Click on the image to watch 3 minute video)

Link to short video that demonstrates the signs of alzheimer's disease and the effect on the brain. picture of a brain.

 

Phases of Alzheimer’s Decline and how it affects the brain over average 8 to 10 years of the disease progression.
Here is a summary of the phases described in the video:

  • Ability to form new memories- short term,
  • Language processing- such as losing words,
  • Logical thought or ability to grasp concepts. Eg; clocks and calendars,
  • Emotions are heightened and sometimes difficult to control,
  • Senses are affected making it hard for brain to process. Eg; causing confusion or hallucinations,
  • Oldest and most precious memories are being lost,
  • Balance and coordination are affected,
  • Last stage the brain stops life functions like swallowing and breathing

 

Not every client who attends the ADS program has a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Some have other forms of dementia or are fighting other diseases such as Parkinson’s. Helping Hands Respite Care has been operating an Adult Day program for well over 30 years. We are proud of our history and continue to look to the future for ways to continue to improve.
If you are interested in learning more about the ADS program for a loved one, PLEASE feel free to reach out to Alison Sarkozy alison@helpinghandsrespite.care our program supervisor to set up a no obligation exploratory visit.