It is common for people to forget things, as they get older, in fact some people begin to forget things at quite a young age. However in Alzheimer’s disease as in other forms of dementia the memory loss really gets very severe. This is a slowly progressive condition, as things tend to get worse over a long period of time. It can be a very stressful condition for both the person with the condition and for those caring for them. Now Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.
The term dementia relates to the brain not working properly and as such the memory becomes progressively worse. Some of the other forms of dementia are known as Lewy body dementia and vascular dementia. While the memory of many elderly people declines slightly as they age, dementia is an illness and not merely a part of the ageing process. It certainly is more common for elderly people to get Alzheimer’s disease and in fact this condition is very rare in younger people.
Generally the first thing that you may notice when someone begins to develop Alzheimer’s disease is that they forget the odd thing that they would have remembered in the past. At first it is common to see people having trouble remembering simple things such as what they did yesterday. They can very easily become lost and may be easily confused. As the disease progresses people will forget how to do everyday things such as cooking dinner, using the toilet, and dressing themselves. At some point they may become so forgetful that they can even forget family members and this can be very hard for those who are caring for these people. In most cases this condition comes on slowly and a close family member who begins noticing increased forgetfulness usually picks up the first symptoms. In those patients who suffer from a stroke the dementia will in most cases begin suddenly and not follow a slow progressive course as in Alzheimer’s disease.
There are many problems that one with dementia suffers and perhaps one of the hardest things for those who care for theses patients is that they may notice a significant personality change . It is common for those with Alzheimer’s to become moody or agitated easily, they may also wander off and become disorientated. Sometimes they may have real difficulty understanding what you are trying to say to them. Another feature of this disease is that the sufferer may think that bad things are happening to them even though they are not. This bizarre behavior is known as a delusion. They will also often see things that are not there; this is known as a hallucination. This can often be very stressful for the person caring for them as they may feel as though they are doing something wrong. In some instances patients will accuse people of stealing their things and may even become rather aggressive. Though it can be very hard just try to bear in mind that they do not mean what they are saying and that they are still the same loving person underneath it all.