Alzheimer's disease: Can you recognize the early signs?


What is Alzheimer's Disease?

According to Alzheimer Society Canada, Alzheimer's disease is a brain disease characterized by progressive degeneration of brain cells. This disease is also considered as a set of diseases that are called "dementia". In the beginning, brain performance is reduced, which explains why memory loss are numerous enough to be noticed and measured, but without compromising the daily functions of an individual. When these memory lost are affecting their life, people who begin to lose their capacity of autonomy have to look for a residence with Alzheimer's services or residences for cognitive loss which offer specialized services for people with loss of autonomy.

As 40% of people over the age of 65 experience some form of memory loss, early diagnosis is available to identify those who may be at risk and who need to consider a full evaluation.

Unfortunately, this disease is irreversible and will progress over time. It is possible to slow the course of the disease by adopting a healthy lifestyle or by receiving specific treatments. Alzheimer's disease progress differently for each person affected, as well as the symptoms, the order in which they occur, and the duration of each stage, which can overlap. To meet this need, several residences for Alzheimer's or cognitive loss homes offer specialized services to adequately care people with Alzheimer's disease.

Talk to your doctor

For these reasons, it is recommended to consult your doctor as soon as symptoms such as frequent memory loss, problems with language, disorientation in time and space, changes in mood or behaviour to confirm if this is due to a normal loss of memory or rather to what is called the mild cognitive impairment which represents a risk of evolution of Alzheimer's disease. Sometimes, the idea of living in a residence is not more pleasant than receiving a diagnosis of a degenerative disease and this is exactly why it is better to be prepare for it earlier in the process, when you can take the right decisions compare to dealing with an emergency.

Slow down the evolution with exercises

In an attempt to slow down the disease, several risk factors have been identified to minimize them. Some risk factors such as age or family history are unchangeable, but it is possible to change people's lifestyle like being physically active or avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, for example. This is why doctors recommend to maintain a healthy lifestyle by performing regular physical exercise in order to reduce all risks related to vascular dementia. To allow residents to move and come into bloom, there are several exercise programs in retirement home including aquafitness, swimming, bowling, etc.

In addition to physical exercise, there are also many memorization exercises for seniors. The goal is to prevent memory loss or stabilize the condition of the person with Alzheimer's disease for as long as possible. Also available in residences, these games allow residents to stimulate their reflexes, short-term memory, long-term memory, visual memory and all other types of memories.

Different stages of Alzheimer's disease evolution

Early stage

This stage refers to people of all ages who usually have symptoms such as memory loss, communication difficulties and changes in moods and behaviors. At this point, people with Alzheimer’s disease do not need much help and can explain to others the experience they experience with this disease. Some people already consider transferring to a residence for cognitive losses, but most are able to function in their homes.

Middle stage

At this stage, we can observe the decline of the cognitive and functional abilities of the affected person. It is also at the middle stage that people with this disease need help and support. Moving to an Alzheimer's residence occurs to be the right thing to do as they will require daily cares at this stage of the illness. But for some people, to become a caregivers is an other option.

Late stage

People are severely affected and can no longer function in everyday life. The goal at this stage is to give them the best life quality. Since these people require a lot of care during day and night, they are placed in a care facility, a residence for Alzheimer's or cognitive losses.

End of life

At this point, all care given to people with Alzheimer's disease is focused on their well-being. Since cognitive and physical abilities become worse over time, doctor and caregivers goal is to maintain the person comfortable and the best quality of life possible.

In order to ensure the best future to the people with Alzheimer's disease, families can turn to Alzheimer's homes and cognitive losses that accommodate these people with loss of autonomy and provide them with all the necessary care.

You can consult our search tool by selecting the type of clientele "Alzheimer and cognitive losses" to find home safety that suit your needs.