It’s probably really hard for an active, social, hard-working person to grow older, and at the same time experience some pretty unpleasant changes with the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s. This is a degenerative neuron disease that is progressive and irreversible.
Both the person suffering from the disease and his or her family members need psychological and emotional support to handle the changes caused throughout the progression of this disease.
This illness is considered to be the primary cause of mental deterioration. It could start between 40 and 90 years of age.
The causes are still unknown. It is characterized by several changes that lead to general cerebral atrophy.
What are the first symptoms?
According to Ciril Rozman’s Internal Medicine Abstract, this disease can be categorized into three successive stages, which are the following:
- The first stage of this disease is that the patient suffers from forgetfulness, abrupt mood swings, speech problems.
- In stage II there is noticeable changes in short-term memory, language deteriorates, and communication with others is weakened. It becomes difficult to handle objects and to carrying out a normal daily life becomes difficult.
- In stage III the patient can retain emotional memory, moods are unpredictable, intents to communicate are limited to incomprehensible babbling, they lose sphincter control, swallowing is difficult and their normal life is completely altered.
Situations that should catch your attention…
If at any time a certain family member has presented any of the listed symptoms: repeats what he/she has already said several times, forgets where he/she places objects, cannot easily perform activities that were common in their daily life, they do not remember what day of the week it is, they cannot remember areas of the house where they habitually spent time, etc.
This situation indicate that something is very wrong and the individual should be evaluated by a qualified doctor to perform a corresponding evaluation. If this disease is confirmed, they will suggest a medication to help mask the symptoms.
Alzheimer’s complications generally lead to death 4 to 10 years after the beginning of the disease.
In regards to treatment there is still no specific pharmaceutical to treat the disease because the cause of the disease is still unknown. Medications are limited to treating symptoms.
If you are waiting for scientific advancements to be able to identify the cause of this and other diseases of which we still do not know the cause, and that therefore lack healing treatment, you must be attentive to the first signs of Alzheimer’s to be able to avoid rapid advancement.
Physiotherapy for Alzheimer’s patients
Physiotherapy seeks to maintain good life quality within the possibilities of the disease. That’s why it is fundamental that you begin treatment as soon as the first symptoms appear. You cannot stop the disease’s deterioration, but you can at least try to make it slower and preserve the patient’s independence as long as possible.
The person will experience more and more difficulty in performing activities that were once included in their normal life. And generally, for fear of falls that could worsen the prognosis, these patients or family members prefer to stay permanently in a wheel chair or directly in bed. There are several problems that immobility also brings, which accelerates the degenerative process.
Physiotherapy seeks to slow the normal process of the disease, attempting to maintain walking ability with specific exercises oriented for each stage of the disease, preserving good posture, while at the same time preserving joints and musculature, maintaining or re-educating balance, etc.
By being more interested in these patients they will have more stimulation to have a more active life, without abandoning relationships with family and social circles. This prevents depression, which the majority of patients generally suffer from.