The other day my grandma was talking about something she remembered. “You remember Chacha Chaudhary, don’t you? I nodded vigoursly. “Good girl.”
“If you grew up in India, chances of you not remembering this short, red-turbaned man are very less. He wasn’t like superman nor did he have the powers like spiderman, but still, he was the bravest and the most intelligent of men. And that’s what made him unique,” and she paused. A few seconds later, she asked, “What was I saying…” drifted off again with a strange look in her eyes.
It is not just incidents like these, my grandma was also acting stranger and stranger by the day. Short, brave and intelligent, just like Chacha, she was a whiz at maths. I would always be amazed by her sharpness, and wished I could be like her.
But since the past few months, she just started losing interest in all the things which used to excite her. She stopped eating properly, she would no longer help me with my homework. We thought it’s age that is taking its toll. Alzheimer’s?! It was never on our minds.
Disha is penning down her thoughts about her grandmother, who passed away some months ago.
Like Disha, a lot of people are confused about Alzheimer’s and age-related memory loss. Let’s understand the difference between the two.
Normal Aging VS Alzheimer’s
Almost 45 percent of people above 65 years of age experience memory loss in some form. When there isn’t any medical condition causing this memory loss, it can be termed as “age-related” illness. But Alzheimer’s is a disease of the brain. Quite different from the normal age-related memory loss.
|Forgetting the details of an event that took place a year ago||Forgetting the details of recent conversations and events|
|Forgetting the name of an acquaintance||Forgetting the names of family members|
|Not being able to remember things occasionally||Not being able to remember things more frequently|
|Difficulty in finding words occasionally||Frequent pauses while talking|
Top 8 Signs of Alzheimer’s You Should Know About
- Difficulty performing familiar tasks
People with Alzheimer’s tend to find difficulties in doing the tasks which they used to do easily earlier. If your loved one starts having trouble in operating things like TV remote or the microwave oven, you may want to consider arranging a memory test.
- Repetitive behaviors
People with Alzheimer’s tend to forget that they have just done something, so they keep doing it again and again. For example – they would keep opening and closing drawers, or they can keep feeding a pet they just fed half an hour ago.
More examples of repetitive behaviors – patient cleaning his/her glasses again and again, checking the door is locked after already having checked it a few minutes ago.
- Getting lost
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 6 in 10 people with Alzheimer’s wander. They can get lost in familiar places, or can walk far away. If the wandering is severe, one can easily find out that something is wrong, but mild incidents can be counted among the first signs of Alzheimer’s.
- Change in sleeping patterns
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, sleep changes vary from person to person, but there are some trends. Some people can find difficulty in sleeping at night while others can sleep much more than they used to. There can also be a sudden increase in daytime napping, therefore it’s necessary to witness these changes.
- Poor grooming, hygiene and dressing habits
People with Alzheimer’s often neglect to take care of their hygiene and physical appearance. If a well-groomed and smartly dressed senior is now disheveled, this is an alarming sign and shouldn’t be ignored. Also witness if the senior is daily wearing the same clothes, and is longer interested in shaving or brushing his teeth. These signs are an indication towards the disease, and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
- Changes in mood and behavior
People with Alzheimer’s may show rapid mood swings – from tears to anger to aggression, and that too, without any reason. They can also become extremely confused, suspicious or dependent on a family member.
- Trouble understanding visual images
A change in visual processing could be the early sign of Alzheimer’s. People can have difficulty reading, determining colour or judging distance.
8. Withdrawing from social activities
A person with Alzheimer’s may avoid being in a social circle, they can pull themselves away from sports, social events and even activities they were interested in.
Concerning Changes? Don’t Panic. See a Doctor.
The above signs could also be age-related, so don’t take them alone as a reason to be alarmed, but yes, DON’T IGNORE THEM TOO.
If you notice these signs, it’s better to concern a doctor, so that the issue can be detected early.
Alzheimer’s care in the comfort of home
If your loved one has Alzheimer’s, dealing with overflowing emotions and constantly fighting a battle with their brain can be very challenging. A hospital closed environment may trigger withdrawal tendencies that can make them feel aggressive, leading to the denial of treatment. And, that’s why, home healthcare becomes a saviour both for the patient as well as the caregiver.
Also, since there are no known cures for Alzheimer’s, the least that can be done is to provide them care in a way that their everyday struggles with life are alleviated to a certain extent. At HealthCare atHOME, our professionally trained nurses help the elders during this time, for activities of daily living, and act as a source of tremendous strength for the patient as well as their family.
To avail expert nursing care at home, please contact us at 1800-102-4224.