47 million people with dementia are registered worldwide. What’s more, each year the number expands: 9.9 million new cases appear. In this context, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common reason for dementia . It monopolizes between 60 and 70% of the cases.
Although it mostly affects the elderly, more and more young people are ill. Thus, less than 1% of Alzheimer’s patients develop it at an early age. This occurs in people under 65 years of age and is caused by hereditary traits.
Considered the biggest health problem of a generation , the outlook is bleak. The progression is increasing. Thus, in 2050 the cases are expected to reach 135 million. A health problem that spreads incessantly.
In this area, thousands of new Alzheimer’s patients are diagnosed every day in the world. It is a disease whose effects are devastating. At the moment, no cure. The shortage of effective treatments together with the increase in life expectancy make it the disease of our century. Medicine has a long way to go to eradicate it.
Before memory loss, microscopic changes occur in the brain .
The neurons in the brain function like little factories. Each connects with many others to produce communication networks. Aside from nerve cells, the brain is made up of specialized cells to nourish and support others.
Something’s wrong with the brain gear
They need supplies, generate energy, build equipment and dispose of waste. They also process and store data and transmit it to other cells. Keeping the brain machine on point requires coordination, as well as high doses of fuel and oxygen.
Scientists have a hypothesis: Alzheimer’s disease prevents any part of a cell’s factory from working properly . They do not know for sure where the problems begin. Still, just like in a real factory, jams and breakdowns do occur causing problems for other areas.
Thus, as damage progresses, cells lose their ability to perform tasks and eventually die.
Nerve cell death leads to memory degradation, personality changes, and trouble performing daily tasks .
One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s, especially in the early stages, is forgetting recently learned information . Likewise, important dates or events are also unknown.
In this sense, the same data is requested repeatedly and relies on electronic devices or notes to supplant this memory failure. In many cases, the help of a family member is required to do the things that the person did before independently.
Frequently forgetting names or appointments and remembering them later is a sign that Alzheimer’s is rampant.
Project and solve problems
Some people are affected in their ability to plan or work with numbers. Thus, they may have trouble sticking to a recipe that they previously followed to their heart or managing monthly bills.
They may also have trouble concentrating and experience slower than before .
Difficulty in activities
People with Alzheimer’s find it difficult to complete everyday tasks . Sometimes there are difficulties in reaching a certain known place.
Dislocation of time or place
People with Alzheimer’s often feel out of place . They forget dates, seasons and the passage of time.
They may not be able to remember where they are and how they got there.
Visual image compression, another downside
The vision problems usually occur in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Thus, they can present difficulties to read, discriminate distances and determine color and contrast.
Disadvantages with language
Following or participating in a conversation is another problem for people with Alzheimer’s. It is possible that, in the middle of a dialogue, they do not know how to continue.
They may struggle to find the right word or call things by the wrong name.
Placing objects in the wrong place
Loss or placing things in a place that is not their rightful are symptoms of the disease of the century. Over time, people in their environment may be accused of stealing from them.
Decreased good judgment
This fact lies in that they experience changes in judgment and decision-making . This affects them significantly, since they are able to give or lend large amounts of money.
Loss of initiative
Likewise, the loss or absence of decision to undertake work tasks or leisure and free time can wreak havoc on them. There is also a considerable avoidance effect in social activities.
Versatility in humor
The moods and characteristic personality traits of people with Alzheimer’s can change. Thus, they can become fearful, confused, depressed or anxious individuals .
Techniques for mental stimulation
One of the main consequences of Alzheimer’s disease is the loss of cognitive functions. Therefore, it is necessary to stimulate them to delay deterioration and promote treatment .
They can be done from home and thanks to these techniques it is possible to maintain mental capacities, improve cognitive performance and gain autonomy in everyday life.
The work is aimed at improving recent memory and memories of the most remote past. These exercises go through:
- Repeat numbers or words to work on immediate memory.
- Memory games with tables of different images.
- Memory games for words or phrases.
- Exercises to recall events or news.
- Remember everyday events.
- Relying on verbal and visual material, such as set phrases, so that the patient can move to their most distant memories.
The objective is for the person to improve their knowledge of the space and time in which they operate, as well as data about the person themselves.
As for the temporal orientation , we can ask you questions about the day, month, year and season in which we are.
On the spatial, we can focus on the neighborhood, city or house in which we are located.
The personal is to ask you by your name, date of birth or even if you are married or married.
Optimize verbal ability
This field includes both verbal and written language, which can be worked through the following techniques :
- Description of situations, facts, pictures or images.
- Dictations, copies and descriptions, focusing on words and syllables.
- Complete word families and word association
- Repetition of letters, syllables, phrases or numbers.
- Denomination of everyday objects and people, such as those found in the room, family members or the food on the table.
How to live with a person with Alzheimer’s?
To live with a person with dementia, specifically Alzheimer’s, you need to be prepared and bring out certain attitudes .
The first virtue you have to work on is patience. This has to be infinite in dealing with the sick, since it will be proven day in and day out.
Time, in this case, does not cure everything. So everything will have to be watched: cooking, gas, money and hygiene, among other things. And more as time passes and the disease progresses.
The caregiver must have their own space where they can rest and store their things so that they are safe .
Seeking support is essential, since people around the patient can suffer stress due to emotional, physical and financial pressures. It can be a trusted person, who lends a hand or supports if necessary.
It must be taken into account that when a person with Alzheimer’s disease defends his position, he does so staunchly and does not admit other versions. Since its reality is alien to that of the rest of the world, it will never recognize your point of view, so it does not have to be stressed to avoid attrition.
Proving him right is another key. You can avoid many headaches.
It is essential to remember that the person with Alzheimer’s is not the same as before. Let us recall that his character has varied considerably. This fact makes a good dose of acceptance and affection essential.
Diet, key to preventing disease
According to recent research, a brain-healthy diet is one that reduces the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Reducing foods high in fat and cholesterol is essential.
Like the heart, the brain needs nutrients for its proper functioning: sugar and protein . The following ingredients can be integrated into the diet:
- Dark-colored fruits and vegetables, which are high in antioxidants.
- Blue or cold water fish, with high levels of omega-3.
The disease of our century advances at an unstoppable rate. Currently, Alzheimer’s heads the center of biomedical research. However, preventive measures and support for the patient through treatment both at home and outside are essential.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.