Alzheimer’s Disease And Home Care Needs
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, irreversible, disorder of the brain that slowly destroys thinking and memory skills, and eventually the ability to carry out simple tasks. Among older adults, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. The disease was named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer, who, in 1906, noticed changes in the brain tissue of a woman who had died of an unusual mental illness. Her symptoms included language problems, memory loss, and unpredictable behavior. Dr Alzheimer examined her brain after she died and found many abnormal clumps (now called amyloid plaques) and tangled bundles of fibers (now called neurofibrillary, or tau, tangles).
These plaques and tangles in the brain are still considered some of the main elements of Alzheimer’s disease. Another element is the loss of connections between nerve cells (neurons) in the brain. Neurons transmit messages between different parts of the brain, and from the brain to muscles and organs in the body.
Although treatment can help manage symptoms in certain people, there is no cure for this debilitating disease.
How Does Alzheimer’s Affect the Brain?
We know that Alzheimer’s disease is an illness that changes people’s brain. It causes people to lose the ability to think, remember, and use good judgment. Those with Alzheimer’s disease may have trouble taking care of themselves. As the disease progresses over time, we know more help will likely be needed.
Caregivers and Alzheimers
For caregivers, we know that taking care of a person with Alzheimer’s disease can make you feel good because you are providing love and comfort, however, other times, it can feel stressful and overwhelming. Oftentimes, caregivers do not even realize how much they have taken on because many of the changes can happen slowly over a long period of time.