A Division of Rural & Regional Holistic Health Pty Ltd : ACN 159 344 902

Recognizing your loved one has Alzheimers

There is often confusion and misunderstanding with the terms Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, but there is a distinct difference.
jigsaw brain
The term dementia refers to a set of symptoms, not the disease itself.

These symptoms might include language difficulty, loss of recent memory or poor judgement. In other words, when an individual is said to have dementia they are exhibiting certain symptoms.

With a thorough screening including blood tests (to rule out other causes of dementia such as vitamin deficiency), a mental status evaluation, neuropsychological testing, and sometimes a brain scan, doctors can accurately diagnose the cause of the dementia symptoms in 90 percent of the cases.

(It is true however, that Alzheimer’s can be diagnosed with complete accuracy only after death, using a microscopic examination of brain tissue, which checks for plaques and tangles).

Although Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60-70 percent of cases of dementia, other disorders that cause dementia include: Vascular dementia, Parkinson’s disease, dementia with Lewy Bodies and Frontotemporal dementia.

Common early signs of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias include:

Memory loss. Tend to forget recent experiences or important dates or events, although older memories remain unaffected.

Repetition. Repeat stories, sometimes word for word. Keep asking the same questions, no matter how many times they’re answered.

Language problems. Have profound problems remembering even basic words. Their way of speaking may become contorted and hard to follow.

Personality changes Sudden mood swings. Become emotional – upset or angry – for no particular reason. Withdrawn or stop doing things they usually enjoy. Uncharacteristically suspicious of family and friends.

Disorientation and confusion May get lost in places they know very well, like their own neighbourhoods. Trouble completing basic and familiar tasks, like cooking dinner or shaving.

Lack of hygiene. The most obvious sign of Alzheimer’s disease in some people is they change from dressing smartly every day of their lives to starting to wearing stained clothing or stop bathing.

Odd behavior. Prone to placing objects in odd and wholly inappropriate places. Like putting a toothbrush in the fridge or milk in the cabinet under the sink.

I have personally lived this nightmare with my Husband for 13 Years so if at any stage you would like to talk Please feel free to call me on 0407 409 144.

Further Information
Seven Stages of Alzheimer’s
Living With Alzheimers
Communication Tips
Dementia and the law
Legal Capacity
Facing reality
Retirement Communities