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Senior Issues Could Be Signs Of Alzheimers

Jun 19, 2008
You may lovingly refer to them as "senior issues," but these slips of the tongue and moments of memory failure could be the first signs of Alzheimers. There are a whole host of emotions that come up when you're diagnosed with Alzheimers.

Most Alzheimers sufferers fear losing their independence, whether it is their ability to drive or the luxury of living at home. While there may be no prevention or cure, there are some helpful hints for staving off the worst symptoms and managing your life.

If you find yourself forgetting an appointment or a word here and there, then you have no need for alarm. Most of the aging population suffers from some senior issues related to memory loss and decreased brain function. By the time we reach 60, several changes take place in our brains that are beyond our control.

Just as our skin gets drier and our muscles grow weaker, the neurotransmitters in our brain slows down and the muscle mass shrinks slightly. This can be a confusing process, but it's something we can cope with. We learn to make notes and write things down. We keep phone numbers next to the phone and arrange a designated "key spot."

By contrast, Alzheimers symptoms occur more often and are much more severe than normal issues of aging. Drastic mood swings that include shouting and crying or confusion, as well as personality changes, typically accompany things like forgetting how to prepare a meal, add numbers together or make a phone call.

Alzheimers patients will substitute words, ask the same questions over and over again and may become lethargic. For the progressive Alzheimers patients, note reminders lose all meaning, they cannot remember things later on and forget entire experiences, and they gradually lose the ability to care for themselves. Symptoms of Alzheimers can lead to a necessity for assisted living as the disease progresses.

Dementia activity refers to a treatment for Alzheimers and Dementia patients aimed at boosting self esteem, unlocking the mental capacity sufferers still have and bridging gaps. While there is no sure-fire treatment, a combination of medication and activities can help a sufferer cope.

Most dementia activity is done at an assisted living Alzheimers care facility. Many with senior issues feel a renewed sense of independence and purpose when they can choose which tasks they will work on that day, says Samantha Porter, an activities coordinator for the Menorah Park Center for Senior Living in Beachwood, Ohio.
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