In the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Although memory loss and confusion may be mild these symptoms can cause a high level of frustration. Memory loss may include forgetting recent events, and where items have been placed and/or conversations with others.
The underlying cause of memory loss in the early stages of AD is a result of damage to brain cells caused by the disease.
Some situations may cause increased anxiety and worsening of symptoms-including a change in living environment, a different daily routine, and certain types of illnesses (such as infections) may all cause symptoms to worsen. Anytime your loved one with AD has a sudden change in any symptoms, it’s vital to contact the attending physician for an examination.
Today, Alzheimer’s disease is being diagnosed more often in the early stages of the disease. This results in more awareness of how AD is adversely affecting the memory.
Here are some tips for helping your loved one cope with memory loss;
•Take plenty of time to listen and be patient.
•Avoid correcting your loved one each time he/she says something wrong. Be sensitive to the fact that the disease is causing the problem.
•Keep in mind that communication may be difficult for the person with AD.
•Assist your loved one in finding the right words to express his/her thoughts and feelings.
•Do not be quick to fill in the blanks by putting words in your loved one’s mouth or attempting to communicate for him/her.
As communication becomes more of an obstacle, try implementing alternative methods for your loved one to express his/her thoughts, feelings, wants and needs. Try using cue cards with pictures or attempt to become astute at reading facial expressions and other forms of non-verbal communication.
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