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Constancy and Dependability amid Change

This is a series of blogs relating to the debilitating disease called Alzheimer’s. It is an attempt to provide a forum for families and individuals who are in the frontline of assisting those who have contracted Alzheimer’s. Comments and stories of your journey are most welcome and will be added to our next blog under the heading #YOURCHAPTER.

Life has a way of challenging us on a daily basis. This is even more apparent if a loved one has developed Dementia, or perhaps the most severe form thereof called Alzheimer’s. In perspective it is a tale of strength and dignity within the circle of love. Presently there is no cure for the Alzheimer’s disease.

Be assured that there is care, training, and support available whether your loved one stays at home, or if the individual is placed into a caring facility of your choice.  It is a certainty that when an individual stays at home, familiar surroundings will immensely aid in the care of the elderly. This is particularly true as familiarity, comfort and well-being are imminently at the forefront of their long term memories.

Regardless of which path you take in the care of your loved one, a Doctor’s advice and personal study of Alzheimer’s or other dementia related issues will assist the family to ascertain which case would be in the best interest of the stricken person.  A free online e-learning course is available at the following website, HelpForAlzheimersFamilies.com, further answers can also be found through the American Alzheimer’s Society at www.alz.org, or the Alzheimer Society Canada www.alzheimer.ca

Dementia is a decline or the loss of memory and the power of reasoning. This decline of memory loss is not part of the normal aging process. Over time Dementia will become progressively worse. Short term memory loss will exhibit itself in that the person will have difficulty finding the right words to finish a conversation. Depression and or mood swings, or even a personality shift, or their judgement may be affected.

Other signs may indicate apathy or listlessness in early diagnosis of Dementia, as well as loss of interest in activities or hobbies. Dementia may also be signified by a struggle to complete ordinary tasks, or confusion. Other symptoms of Dementia may display a certain level of difficulty to understand a story line, or a sense of loss in direction, or being ultra-repetitive, and finally the inability to adapt to change.

When to see a doctor? The sooner the better. Regardless of your apprehensions or fears, get the proper guidelines from a professional, and together with family make a plan that works for both the patient and the family. It should be noted that forgetfulness or memory loss is not necessarily dementia, but rather just a part of growing older. An appointment with a neurologist can examine your loved one’s physical and mental state. This action will determine whether the results are caused by dementia, or some another cognitive problem. The following tests are designed to find specific answers to memory loss, memory and mental tests, neurological exam, blood tests, and brain imaging.