Alzheimer’s: Signs, Symptoms, and Care

Alzheimer’s disease is a specific type of dementia that causes a gradual decline in cognitive function, memory, and the ability to perform everyday activities. This disease is most often seen in older adults. The percentage of those with Alzheimer’s increases with age, affecting 5% of people aged 65 to 74, and over 13% of people aged 75-84 (Texas DSHS).

With Alzheimer’s being characterized by a continuous decrease in cognitive ability, this disease requires an increasing amount of support from others and eventually, full-time care.

Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s in Aging Adults

Recognizing the early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease is important. Catching this diagnosis earlier rather than later can help slow down decline and help manage the effects. While some signs may be confused for typical age-related changes, there are several symptoms that are more heavily associated with Alzheimer’s.

Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks

Alzheimer’s can cause someone to forget daily routines and tasks. This could affect driving to a familiar location, completing work tasks, or even simply remembering the rules of a game.

Confusion with Time or Place

Another sign is forgetting dates, seasons, and times. This can cause someone to lose track of the day or week, or to forget where they are and how they got there. Being unfamiliar with surroundings in a place they frequently visit, like home, work, etc. can be a sign that additional support is needed to care for this person.

Memory Loss that Disrupts Daily Life

This is often one of the first and most noticeable signs. Individuals may forget recently learned information, important dates or events, and repeatedly ask for the same information. As this disease progresses, it can also lead to forgetting names and knowledge about friends or loved ones.

New Problems with Speaking or Writing

Individuals may start having a hard time following conversations or they may lose their train of thought during a conversation more often. This disease can also affect vocabulary and a person’s ability to communicate what they’re thinking with words or writing.

Caring for Alzheimer’s and other forms of Dementia at CSNHC

Long-Term Care Facilities

Receiving a Dementia or Alzheimer’s diagnosis can mean it’s time to consider alternative care options. With progressive decline comes a bigger need for medical help and in some cases, specialized care. Individuals may need more frequent help with daily tasks and support that cannot always be sustainable to give from home.

A long-term care facility, or a nursing home, can provide an environment where you or your loved one can live comfortably and safely while under medical supervision.

Secure Living Hallways

Every Creative Solutions in Healthcare facility is equipped with staff who can provide quality care to residents with Alzheimer’s. While some cases of Alzheimer’s may only require structure and support in this environment, others may need more specialized memory care. At select facilities, there are SecureCare hallways, which are living quarters catered specifically for those with exit seeking or wandering behaviors.

These hallways offer rooms and spaces for residents to live a full life, while being as safe as possible. There are many safety procedures in place within these hallways, so residents remain out of danger at all times. Some of these features include locked doors to provide a secure environment for residents to roam and no loose objects or small furniture that can be a hazard. These spaces afford residents with these behaviors the same opportunity for entertainment and socialization, while being as safe as possible.

SecureCare Training

Creative Solutions in Healthcare has a SecureCare Program, which is a culture change initiative and training program that aims to improve care for residents with aging brains. This program is inspired by Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care and enhances the way staff interact and care for these residents.

The training courses, led by our Director of SecureCare, Nicole Barnett, take staff members through various exercises and activities that simulate caring for those with Dementia. This puts them in the shoes of someone struggling and gives them the knowledge and tools they need to better care for these residents.

Over 55% of residents in skilled nursing facilities have a diagnosis of dementia, according to the Texas Healthcare Association (THCA). This is why the SecureCare program extends beyond specialty secured hallways, catering to individuals throughout the facility.

There are many benefits of memory care and this type of specialized support can help manage Alzheimer’s and other forms of Dementia.

How to Find Memory Care near you

If you or a loved one is struggling with these symptoms, and you think it may be time for additional care, you can click here to find a facility offering Memory Care near you.

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