Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, causing 50 to 70% of all cases. The disease results in problems with:
- memory, thinking
- disorientation of time and place
- poor or decreased judgment
- changes in mood or behavior
- misplacing things
- changes in personality
- loss of initiative
Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. Alzheimer’s is not a reversible disease. It is degenerative and incurable at this time. Some forms of dementia, such as a drug interaction or a vitamin deficiency, are actually reversible or temporary.
- There is no one specific kind of specialist best qualified to assess plan treatment
- Neurologists, geriatric psychiatrists and geriatricians all receive training in the evaluation and treatment of memory disorders.
- Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging.
- Alzheimer’s has no current cure, but treatments for symptoms are available and research continues.
- Alzheimer’s worsens over time.
Although no cure for Alzheimer’s disease is presently available, proper education, good planning, and support can ease the burdens on the patient and family. Find help in your local community from experienced, educated people that provide the following services:
- Sitting with your loved one to give you a break.
- Transportation for medical appointments and/or a supervised outing.
- Licensed facilities that will take your loved one on a temporary/permanent basis set up with activities and safety measures.
Professionals who specialize in Dementia or Alzheimer’s specialize in the biological, psychological, and social aspects of aging.
- Gerontologists have a masters or doctoral degree in gerontology and can provide non-medical services to older adults, such as caregiver classes and support for people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
- Neurologist A physician specializing in diseases of the nervous system, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, and stroke. A neurologist has a doctorate in medicine and has completed a residency in neurology. Neurologists may or may not have specific experience and training in diseases of the older population.
- Memory care facilities are specifically created to care for the progression of the disease. If you are seeing signs of memory loss.
Is your parent showing signs of:
- memory loss that disrupts daily life?
- increased challenges in planning or solving problems?
- having difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure?
When visiting a Memory Care Gerontologist or Physician here are some questions you should ask and things you should evaluate:
- Are you Medicaid/Medicare certified?
- Is the physician within your parents’ insurance company’s list of preferred providers?
- Is the physician within the American Medical Associations website?
- Does the physician have superior credentials?
- What is the level of the disease that my loved one is in currently?
- Based on that level, is my loved one needing a memory care facility?