Our home carers have thousands of hours experience working with and supporting people living with Alzheimer's. Below is our short guide giving you a quick overview of Alzheimer's disease. If we can help contact us at 0208 886 0686 or use one of the forms to schedule a callback.
Previous conditions covered:
Home Care Guide - Conditions - Episode 1 - Multiple Sclerosis
Home Care Guide - Conditions - Episode 2 - Dementia
Home Care Guide - Conditions - Episode 3 - Diabetes
Home Care Guide - Conditions - Episode 4 - Alzheimer's
Home Care Guide - Conditions - Episode 5 - Vascular Dementia
Home Care Guide - Conditions - Episode 6 - Parkinson's
Alzheimer's disease is a type of dementia. It's the most common dementia and it's estimated that 850,000 people are affected in the UK.
Alzheimer's is a physical disease which affects the brain and so is known as a neurological disease. When a person has Alzheimer's, proteins build up in the brain and form plaque. These plaques cause a loss in connection between the nerve cells in the brain. This can cause nerve cells to die.
There are factors that increase the risk of getting Alzheimer's though as yet the exact cause of the disease is unknown. These factors include severe head injuries, family history of Alzheimer's, age and lifestyle.
Alzheimer's disease usually begins with difficulties with more recent memory such as forgetting recent conversations, events, names and places.
Alzheimer's is progressive so difficulties will become worse over time which can lead to confusion, getting lost, difficulty with making decisions, problems with movement, self-care, mood speech, language, personality changes and difficulty judging distances.
These difficulties will become increasingly severe and the person living with Alzheimer's may need more support from families. Some people with Alzheimer's may develop sleeplessness, aggression, hallucinations, seeing and hearing things that are not there and delusions and believing things that aren't true.
Alzheimer's disease may eventually lead to difficulties with walking, eating and being aware of their surroundings and will need support with their daily lives.
We are a dementia friendly organisation and we deliver the Alzheimer's Society's free 45 minute long Dementia Friends information session. This session takes a very positive view of dealing with dementia. One of it's key 5 messages is that it is possible to live well with dementia. We also strongly align to one of the key elements of the campaign to change the way people talk about dementia and changing from the use of the term 'dementia sufferer' to 'person living with dementia'. We regularly deliver the free Dementia Friends session and can also deliver it 1:1 to family members or to whole family groups.
At this time there is currently no cure for Alzheimer's though it is possible to live well with the disease. In the news yesterday (31st January 2018) scientists have developed a blood test that can detect the build-up of toxic proteins linked to Alzheimer's disease.
There are drugs that can provide some help with memory difficulties and can also help make regular activities such as cooking and shopping easier to manage as well as helping with concentration and motivation. There are other drugs that can help a person living with more severe Alzheimer's disease which can help again with memory, concentration and daily activities and can also ease delusions and challenging behaviours.
The products, support and activities below are from the guide on dementia, this support is also relevant for people living with Alzheimer's disease.
There are lots of support, activities and therapies that can help a person living with dementia to live well.
Lots of products exist that can assist in daily life such as anti-spill mugs, user-friendly utensils, talking or written word clocks, pill boxes and user-friendly phones. There are also new technologies incorporating the internet of things which monitor the use and also non-use of doors and electrical appliances.
Many forms of cognitive therapies exist also that can aid a person's mind and keep them independent and living well. Local services and activities that provide singing and meet-ups providing enjoyment, stimulation and social interaction are often hugely valuable and worth looking into also.