What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia in the UK.
Dementia is a range of symptoms that are usually associated with decline in functioning of the brain, which affects memory, thinking, recall and other mental abilities and skills.
What causes dementia isn’t an exact science, but it can involve a range of different thing that may mean someone is more at risk of the disease than others.
We come more at risk with:
- Getting older.
- Genetics and other family members who have suffered with the disease.
- Heart disease.
Dementia in all forms is progressive, with usually a slow progress over years which often suddenly seems to affect someone, but the reality is, that they have usually just hit the point where they can no longer hide the symptoms from family and friends.
- Memory is usually the most affected skill with Alzheimer’s. We might forget birthdays, names, places, people or what things are for.
- Speech and language issues, such as word skill, using the wrong words, forgetting words they use commonly, not recognising common language and intonation.
- Difficulty getting around, making decisions and managing money.
- Getting lost and wandering.
- Problems with basic care, such as eating, drinking, cooking, shopping, washing, toileting.
- Confusion and distress.
- Anxiety and personality changes, becoming angry, aggressive and accusing other of stealing, trying to murder them and not trusting people in their daily lives.
- Problems taking medication.
- Hallucinations and delusions.
How will I know I have Alzheimer’s Disease?
- By talking to you and your family, your GP will assess your symptoms, to find out if they match possible symptoms..
- Asking questions about our life, what you are struggling with, and ruling out other conditions.
- Brain scans.
What will my GP do for me if I am diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease?
- eating well
- regulating your weight to avoid sharp gains or loses, and maintaining a healthy body
- stopping smoking
- taking exercise
- removing or cutting back on alcohol
How will I live with Alzheimer’s Disease?
- Help in your own home.
- Living with a friend or relative.
- Moving to a Care Home or Nursing Home.
- Medication to help alleviate some symptoms, such as aggression, anxiety and depression.
Can I die from Alzheimer’s Disease?
Dementia is considered a terminal disease among caregivers. Life expectancy will fall, but the outcome is not predictable. Other diseases and conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, strokes and falls may shorten life.
Alzheimer’s is progressive which can lead to problems with toileting, swallowing and infections.
How did I get Alzheimer’s Disease?
Main Forms of Dementia