Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Alzheimer's Disease

1.   Memory loss that disrupts life:

One of the most common signs of Alzheimer's is memory loss, especially forgetting recently learned information.  Others include forgetting important dates or events; asking for the information over and over.  Or asking family members for things they used to handle on their own.
       What is a normal age related change?

Sometimes forgetting names or appointments but remembering later.

2.  Challenges in planning or salving problems:

Some people may experience changes in their ability to develope and follow a plan or work with puzzles.  They may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills.  They may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things they did before.
        What is a normal age related change?

Making occasional errors when balancing a check book.

3.  Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, work or leisure.  People with Alzheimer's Disease often find it hard to complete daily tasks.  Sometimes Alzheimer's patients may have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget or remembering the rules of a favorite game.

         What is a normal age related change?

Occasionally needing help to use the settings on a microwave or to record a television program.

4.  Confusion with time or place:  People with Alzheimer's can lose track of dates, seasons and the passages of time. They may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately.  Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there.

          What is a normal age related change?

Getting confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later.

5.  Trouble understanding visual images:  for some people having visual problems is a sign of Alzheimer's Disease.  They have difficulity reading, judging distance and determinig color, contrast or perception.

            What is a normal age related change?

Visual changes related to cataracts.