Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative disorder that affects more than 5 million people in the United States. Statistics show that the disorder causes more deaths than those caused by certain types of cancer. The reason that many people die from Alzheimer’s is that neither the patient nor his or her family is prepared for the symptoms that cause the most danger.
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The following is a list of the five most dangerous symptoms of Alzheimer’s and some information on how a family can prepare for them:
1. Memory Loss
Memory loss is one of the most prevalent Alzheimer’s symptoms. Family members and friends should expect it to occur and gradually increase after they receive the Alzheimer’s diagnosis. They can then set up some help through the health care plan. One of the best ways to ensure that the elderly person stays safe is to have someone there in case he or she has a memory episode. Many healthcare plans provide assistance for people who desire home healthcare aids for Alzheimer’s patients.
2. Vision Problems
Vision problems are another one of those common and dangerous Alzheimer’s symptoms. The vision problems associated with Alzheimer’s often cause vehicular accidents because they come on suddenly. The vision problems are the most dangerous problems of them all because there is no warning for them. They just occur, which makes driving a highly dangerous experience.
Preparing for this problem includes finding a backup driver. The family members of the person with Alzheimer’s can request help from a state or county organization that provides rides to doctor’s appointments. Taxi cabs, public transportation and family contributions can help the person to get around without risking an issue with vision problems.
3. Mood Changes
Mood changes are something that often occur in an Alzheimer’s patient. They can have a wide variety of results. They can cause pain and devastation to the people who are around the patient because the person may say hurtful things. Mood changes can be near fatal for the patient, as well. Depression may cause that person to be suicidal enough to attempt self-harm.
Unfortunately, poor judgment also comes along with mood changes. The patient may indulge in activities that are outside of the norm for that person, as well. Certain hormones and drugs may help to keep the mood stable.
Confusion is a symptom that caring friends and family members need to monitor. The Alzheimer’s patient may suddenly be unaware of his or her whereabouts. The person may perform strange acts such as walking around with no clothing or wandering outside. The individual may fall down the steps or get hurt in the swimming pool.
Confusion can get much more serious than simply losing an item. Confusion sometimes turns into panic and rage because the patient feels a certain amount of frustration. The family member, guardian or friend should provide consolation and a calm voice.
5. Communication Issues
Losing the ability to speak is something that often occurs when a person is deep into the progression of Alzheimer’s. The person may stop speaking right in mid-sentence and go silent. Confusion may manifest in the person’s face. The patient may be unable to form words or sentences for some time despite his or her attempts to do such.
During such a frustrating time, a person needs support, comfort and assistance. The patient needs someone to encourage him or her, and the patient needs someone to help perform the tasks that he or she could not perform.
Families must start taking protective steps as soon as a physician gives the patient an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Doctors, insurance providers and government agencies can provide some assistance for the families who have Alzheimer’s patients in their households. Many new home healthcare franchises are opening every day, as well.