Alzheimer’s and Dementia

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Imagine being unable to recognize your spouse or children, but remembering the name of the street that you grew up on?  Alzheimer’s disease causes this decline in mental function with long term memories the last to be affected.  One of the most common forms of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease destroys a person’s memory and ability to carry out daily activities. Sixty percent of those with dementia have Alzheimer’s disease with all other forms of dementia making up the remaining 40 percent.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, in 2012 it was estimated that one in eight persons over 65 had Alzheimer’s, which is approximately 5.4 million older Americans.  As the baby boomers continue to age and life expectancy increases, those number are expected to go up.

alzheimers1

 

What are the symptoms for Alzheimer’s Disease?

If you are unsure if someone you know may be in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, the Alzheimer’s Association provides this list of signs and symptoms:

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  • Challenges in planning or problem solving
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
  • Confusion with time or place
  • Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
  • New problems with words in speaking or writing
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  • Decreased or poor judgment
  • Withdrawal from work or social activities
  • Changes in mood and personality

How does Haven Behavioral Hospital of Albuquerque treat Alzheimer’s Disease?

At Haven Behavioral Hospital of Albuquerque, treatment of Alzheimer’s is geared toward stimulating memories and reducing anxieties.  Reminiscence and Sensory Stimulation therapies are utilized to help to improve memory, as well as to reduce anxieties.   Watching movies from a patient’s past and discussing experiences such as their first date will encourage interaction that will assist in the treatment of this disease.  Sensory stimulation takes patients back to a particular time and place based on smells, textures, and sounds.  Music, in particular, evokes memories from various stages of life.

 

If someone you know or love is exhibiting signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, please have them assessed by a healthcare professional.


Sources:

Alz.org (Alzheimer’s Association)::

http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_10_signs_of_alzheimers.asp#signs

American Psychiatric Association:

http://www.psychiatry.org/mental-health/key-topics/alzheimers-disease

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