Normal Age-Associated Memory Loss Slowdown of the ability to process new information (e.g., learn a new card game Slowdown of short-term memory (e.g., where did I put my keys, glasses?) Slowdown of search and retrieval functions (e.g., forgetting names, words Dementia The loss of cognitive or intellectual function, such as thinking, remembering, and reasoning, so severe that it interferes with … Read More

About Alzheimer’s Disease

What is Alzheimer’s Disease? NOT a normal part of aging (senility, hardening of the arteries, or organic brain syndrome were terms used years ago to describe what we now call dementia) The most common form of dementia A progressive, degenerative neurological illness Marked by gradual onset Destroys brain cells, results in structural and chemical changes. Brain cells are not replaced. … Read More

Diagnosis and Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease

How is Alzheimer’s Disease Diagnosed? Currently, there is no one clinical test that can determine whether a person has Alzheimer’s disease. There seems to be some hope on the horizon that a test will be developed in the future. Many conditions exist which exhibit similar symptoms to Alzheimer’s; some are treatable and reversible, some are not. Several tests must be … Read More

Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

There are many models used to explain the disease process, some using only 3 stages with others using 7 or more stages.  Each is useful in it’s own way.  We will present a model with 4 stages indicated. As with all models, this information is provided for instructional purposes only.  Persons with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia may exhibit symptoms from … Read More

Living with Alzheimer’s Disease

Coping Techniques Take a break or “time out” when you get frustrated or upset. Let it go. Talk with someone to let out feelings, and seek advice. Laugh – look at the lighter side! Know that misplaced items will turn up. Use calendars, watches, and daily lists as reminder aids. Get help with tasks that are causing anxiety or frustration. … Read More

12 Steps for Caregivers

Although I cannot control the disease process, I need to remember I can control many aspects of how it affects me and my relatives. I need to take care of myself so that I can continue doing the things that are important. I need to simplify my lifestyle so that my time and energy are available for things that are really important at this time. I … Read More

Environment and Safety

Environment Routine, Structured, Consistent (e.g., same things at the same time of day) Tranquil, Calm (e.g., limit number of visitors at one time) Continuity (e.g., furniture in the same place, routine schedule, memorabilia within sight) Free of distractions, avoid over-stimulation Avoid under-stimulation (e.g., use music) Orientation / visual cues (e.g., calendars displaying one day at a time) Contrasting colors for … Read More

Communication Challenges

Explore a helpful guide that provides actionable items to foster communication and care for those living with Alzheimer’s Disease and other memory loss.

Handling Difficult Situations

How to handle difficult situations of those living with Alzheimer’s Disease, such as refusal to go to the doctor or inability to handle personal finances.