What To Expect If Your Parent Develops Alzheimer's

If one of your beloved parents is suffering from Alzheimer's disease seek medical assistance immediately. There are new treatments available.

The saddest thing about loving your parent is watching them grow old and unable to take care of themselves. As they do you become the parent as they regress to childhood. Many diseases and ailments strike the elderly and one of the most incomprehensible is Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's robs the victim of their memories so that the patient no longer knows you, his surroundings or his own name, in some cases.

The disease often starts out slowly as the parent becomes confused about minor things such as days, dates and names. It progressively gets worse until the victim no longer knows whose house he is in or how to find his way back from the nearest street corner. Alzheimer's is a very sad disease that is mostly untreatable.

A form of dementia which strikes the elderly, Alzheimer's can even rob the person of speech and the ability to perform simple tasks. Although scientists don't fully understand the disease they do know that it causes a form of mental illness that becomes more likely as the person passes the age of 60. Since the disease starts out slowly then progresses the initial symptoms are mere bothers. Forgetting to brush teeth or how to do a simple addition problem are things that most people can live with initially but eventually the victim will need total care.



Although there is no definite test to indicate that the person has Alzheimer's a physician can make an educated guess as to whether it is present by eliminating other possibilities and reviewing the symptoms. A definite confirmation of Alzheimer's cannot be done until the person has passed away from the disease. The average person with the disease can live 8 or 10 years with symptoms but some are known to have lived 20 years while suffering with it.

There are new medications out that can help relieve some of the symptoms of the disease, such as sleeplessness or aimless wondering. Agitation, depression and anxiety can also be somewhat controlled. It's important that a diagnosis be made as early as possible so that treatment can begin immediately. People with mild to moderate symptoms can find some relief from modern drugs.

New studies show that vitamin E or even ginkgo biloba may help slow down the symptoms of Alzheimer's although these studies are not absolute. If you suspect that your parent is experiencing symptoms of Alzheimer's don't hesitate to seek professional opinion. If it's guess that Alzheimer's is present talk to your parent, while they're still able to participate, about his wishes. Chances are he will have to be admitted to a facility that can help to control him in the future.

Join support groups and learn all you can about Alzheimer's and new treatments to better help your loved one. Let them know they are loved and cared for while you still can then make them as comfortable and safe as possible as the disease progresses. Know ahead of time that the day will come when they will no longer recognize you and other family members but don't let that stop you from visiting and caring for them.

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