Symptoms of Alzheimer's
When word Alzheimer's is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is memory loss. This assumption is correct given that the doctor's have determined this to be a disorder that usually happens to old folk.
There are many symptoms of Alzheimer's and doctors often associate it with the seven stages. There is no cause of alarm yet in the first two stages since even the smartest people tend to forget things every so often.
The first two stages may last for four years. However, when this happens more frequently, the patient could already be in the third or fourth stage and this is just going to get worse. A simple example could be if the individual is unable to complete a simple task that was easily done in the past like doing some basic arithmetic.
People will definitely notice the changes. This is the reason some family members take shifts watching over the loved one or get a nurse to watch over the person.
The fifth stage is better known as moderate Alzheimer's because aside from not being able to recall names or do things without assistance, the individual will become disoriented and may at times get lost.
One precaution often being taken is for the patient to wear an ID card in the neck or placed in the pocket. This contains the name, address and contact person of who should be called when this happens.
The sixth stage of Alzheimer's is when the person also begins to have mood swings. The patient may be jolly to talking to other people when suddenly everything changes and the attitude is now hostile to whoever is there.
The worse part about the disorder during this stage is that the person will act like a baby. Tantrums may be thrown but the worse part is seeing the patient defecate on his or herself. The caretaker will have to clean up the mess as though the person was an infant and are advised to use adult diapers, which is more convenient when cleaning up the mess.
The seventh stage of Alzheimer's is not that bad anymore. This is because the body's systems will slowly shut down. The patient won't speak or do anything and will usually just stare into space.
It is like the person gave up the will to live. The body may be there but the mind or the soul has gone off to another place.
Anyone who is diagnosed with Alzheimer's will have less than 10 years left to live. Doctors only catch on in the third and fourth stages since the symptoms of short-term memory loss are hardly noticeable and often attributed to aging.
What can people do for those who have Alzheimer's? Unfortunately, there is not that much anyone can do because there is no cure yet for this disorder. There are drugs available that can only slow down the process before it gets worse but those who care are just delaying the inevitable.
Research shows that there are more than four million people in the country that are suffering from this disease. The figure will go higher as the baby boom generation also reaches the same age.
As long as there are drugs that can delay the process, doctors may be able to buy a little more time so that the person may live to see the day that a cure has been made.