As a person grows older, their body ages as well as their mind. A person may have some minor memory issues and begin to move at a slower pace, as well as “think” slower. These things are considered normal. A person with Alzheimer’s disease suffers from memory loss that affects their daily life (Alzheimer’s, 2014). This loss of memory consists of a failure to remember recent information, important dates, and times (Alzheimer’s, 2014). Things may have to be repeated several times and the person may have to use reminder cues or people to handle normal activities such as medication (Alzheimer’s, 2014).
Normal things such as problem-solving and planning become difficult (Alzheimer’s, 2014).. Paying bills, following recipes or budgets, and working with numbers becomes troublesome as concentrating becomes difficult and causes tasks to take longer to complete (Alzheimer’s, 2014). Regular daily tasks such as driving and playing games become difficult as directions and rules become difficult to recall (Alzheimer’s, 2014).
People with Alzheimer’s disease tend to become confused with time and location, often leaving them feel feel as if they are lost and forgetting how or why they are even there (Alzheimer’s, 2014). They also have issues understanding things that are not happening at the immediate point in time (Alzheimer’s, 2014).
Alzheimer’s patients also may have vision problems that make reading, judging distance and determining colors quite difficult which in turn affects their ability to drive(Alzheimer’s, 2014). In addition to vision problems, written and oral communication become difficult as te person loses their train of thought mid conversation or cannot find the right word, often causing them to substitute a word that makes no sense(Alzheimer’s, 2014). For instance, a feather may get referred to as a hairpiece.
A person with Alzheimers may place their keys in an unusual place such as a closet and forget where they put them. They may try to retrace their steps, but cannot remember what they did or when they did it (Alzheimer’s, 2014). Due to their inability to find their keys because of their poor memory they may accuse someone of stealing from them (Alzheimer’s, 2014).
Judgements become poor and difficult. People with Alzheimer’s may begin spending less attention on their personal hygiene and grooming or even forgetting to pay their necessary bills, but will pay telemarketers(Alzheimer’s, 2014). Over time, the person may begin to withdraw from social activities and hobbies that they would usually enjoy because they have forgotten how to do them and may be ashamed of the changes they have been experiencing (Alzheimer’s, 2014).
Aside from memory loss and dementia, changes in mood and personality become significant (Alzheimer’s, 2014). Confusion sets in because the person does not understand the changes they are experiencing (Alzheimer’s, 2014). The confusion leads to feelings of suspicion, depression, anxiety and fear (Alzheimer’s, 2014). When outside of their comfort zone, mood swings heighten causing mild to severe outbursts because of the unfamiliarity they are facing (Alzheimer’s, 2014).
Over time, these changes that take place within the lives of those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, slowly progress (Alzheimer’s, 2014). As progression increases and more neurons die, causing the brain tissues to shrink, eventually, the patient, too will die.
Alzheimer’s Association. (2014). Alzheimer’s & Dementia. 2014 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, vol 10, issue 2. Retrieved by http://www.alz.org/ downloads/Facts_Figures_2014.pdf