Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible brain disorder that slowly diminishes memory and critical thinking, as well as the ability to carry out tasks. The symptoms will first appear in a person’s mid-60s. Early-onset Alzheimer’s can occur between the age of 30 and the mid-60s but is quite rare.
The disease is named after physician Dr. Alois Alzheimer who discovered the disease in a female patient of his starting in 1901. Her symptoms included memory loss, language problems and unpredictable behavior.
After she died in 1906, he examined her brain, finding abnormal clumps and tangled bundles of fibers.
These plaques and tangles in the brain are still considered one of the unique features of Alzheimer’s disease. Another is the loss of connection between nerve cells in the brain. Neurons transmit messages between different parts of the brain and then to muscles and organs in the body. Other complex brain changes are also thought to play a role in Alzheimer’s.
This damage initially seems to take place in the hippocampus, the brain area essential in forming memories. As neurons die, other parts of the brain are affected. By the final stage of Alzheimer’s, damage is widespread and brain tissue has shrunk significantly.
Memory care helps patients in severe memory loss stages. There are things like “helpcards” that can make a difference.
“Helpcards” are for people with dementia to use and carry with them. This makes it easier to get help or assistance when they’re out in the community.
Memory games can help improve symptoms in Dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. Emphasis on exercising both mind and body can help prevent forgetfulness and improve clarity. Games that include matching pictures of people, objects or animals with their names gives memory care participants a visual component to connect to a word. Card games are a popular form of entertainment and memory exercise. Another great exercise is having the memory care participant memorize short poems, sayings, or songs. Crossword puzzles, word searches and sudoku all help promote higher levels of thinking; using visual stimulation to help improve memory. 30 minutes of exercise per day is recommended for people of all ages, but especially older adults and memory deficient individuals.
Memory care is extremely important during all stages. It can help restore the tissues and sometimes even memories of an individual. It is recommended to consult with a doctor or health care services to understand the best choices to make.