No one experiences Alzheimer’s disease in exactly the same way. As memory loss occurs, it affects cognition, coordination, personality, and standard of living very differently from person to person. However, researchers have identified some patterns in the way the disease progresses, allowing doctors to group Alzheimer’s symptoms into three specific stages. This classification can help people to better understand how symptoms might unfold after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis and can assist families in making plans for the future.
It’s important to keep in mind, though, that while Alzheimer’s symptoms have been clustered into stages, there’s no way to tell how long any one stage or symptom will last or how quickly others will progress. People with Alzheimer’s die on average about four to six years after their diagnosis, but the disease can also take its relentless toll for as long as 20 years before death occurs.
You’ve forgotten where you’ve placed your keys. Or you can’t remember the name of an actress in a particular movie. Or maybe you are relying more and more on notes to remind yourself you need to do important tasks. Are you suffering from Alzheimer’s?
In most cases, the answer is probably not. Most of us experience some “normal” loss of memory, those annoying “senior moments,” as we age. Experts say that misplacing your keys isn’t the issue; forgetting what the keys are used for, however, can be. With this in mind, if you or a loved one is having memory problems that seem to be getting worse more rapidly or happening much more frequently than before, it might be time to pay your doctor a visit.
The following are some early warning signs of Alzheimer’s, along with caveats you should keep in mind:
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This article has been republished in part or full from an Age in Place Professionals member's website. Read the orignal article at the author's website >>