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Does Alzheimer’s Always Get Worse

What If I Forget To Take It

Dementia and Sundowning: Tips to help you manage sundowning

If you forget a dose of donepezil, skip the missed dose and take the next one at the normal time the next day.

Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose.

If youve forgotten to take your donepezil for more than a week, talk to your doctor before you take any more.

If you forget doses often, it may help to set an alarm to remind you. You could also ask a doctor, pharmacist or dementia support group for advice on other ways to help you remember to take your medicine.

Techniques To Calm Hunger

Extremely limited short-term memory certainly makes things difficult. When youve served a meal, only to be asked when the next one will come, it can try your patience. Of course, simply leaving snacks out in the open will lead to overeating.

Try these approaches to satisfy your loved ones demands without compromising their health :

  • Serve several small meals a day. Theres nothing wrong with eating more often, as long as each serving is adjusted appropriately. Try dividing each meal into two meals, then space them a couple hours apart.
  • Stock up on low-calorie snacks. Its often much easier to give into demands than it is to reason with an Alzheimers patient. If they constantly insist they need food, have a platter at the ready just make sure its healthy, satisfying and low calorie.
  • Keep certain foods locked away. If theyre prone to wandering and poking into corners and cupboards, theyll eventually find the food they want. The simple solution is to keep those spaces clean and clear of tantalizing treats.
  • Find happy distractions. Remember, the desire to eat might not have anything to do with hunger, but rather with an uneasy feeling. The best way to change a vague feeling of unrest is to change the situation: suggest you go for a walk or run a simple errand before eating.

Why Does Dementia Affect Sleep

Problems with sleep are very common for people with dementia. They can include:

  • sleeping during the day and being awake and restless during the night
  • becoming disorientated in the dark if they wake up to use the toilet
  • waking up more often and staying awake longer during the night
  • getting up in the early hours and thinking its day time or time to go to work
  • not being able to tell the difference between night and day.

Nobody completely understands why dementia affects sleeping patterns. For some people, it may be that their internal biological clock, which judges what time it is, becomes damaged so the person starts to feel sleepy at the wrong time of day.

There are also other parts of the brain which control whether or not we stay awake, and these may also not work properly if they become damaged.

Sometimes a person with dementia might completely reverse their normal sleep pattern, staying up all night and then sleeping all day.

It’s common for people with dementia, especially in the later stages, to spend a lot of their time sleeping

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Stage : Age Associated Memory Impairment

This stage features occasional lapses of memory most frequently seen in:

  • Forgetting where one has placed an object
  • Forgetting names that were once very familiar

Oftentimes, this mild decline in memory is merely normal age-related cognitive decline, but it can also be one of the earliest signs of degenerative dementia. At this stage, signs are still virtually undetectable through clinical testing. Concern for early onset of dementia should arise with respect to other symptoms.

What Is Parkinson Disease

How to know when someones dementia is getting worse

Parkinson disease is a movement disorder. It can cause the muscles to tighten and become rigid This makes it hard to walk and do other daily activities. People with Parkinsons disease also have tremors and may develop cognitive problems, including memory loss and dementia.

Parkinson disease is most common in people who are older than 50. The average age at which it occurs is 60. But some younger people may also get Parkinson disease. When it affects someone younger than age 50, it’s called early-onset Parkinson disease. You may be more likely to get early-onset Parkinson disease if someone in your family has it. The older you are, the greater your risk of developing Parkinson disease. It’s also much more common in men than in women.

Parkinson disease is a chronic and progressive disease. It doesn’t go away and continues to get worse over time.

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Can You Reverse Atrial Fibrillation

Yes, you can absolutely reverse atrial fibrillation! I have seen this countless times in my cardiology practice.

The key is to stop the progressive scarring through healthy living and then reduce the strain on the heart so that future episodes dont occur. For a primer on how to do this, please read this article I wrote called, How to Get Rid of Atrial Fibrillation Once and For All.

Health Environmental And Lifestyle Factors

Research suggests that a host of factors beyond genetics may play a role in the development and course of Alzheimers. There is a great deal of interest, for example, in the relationship between cognitive decline and vascular conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, as well as conditions such as diabetes and obesity. Ongoing research will help us understand whether and how reducing risk factors for these conditions may also reduce the risk of Alzheimers.

A nutritious diet, physical activity, social engagement, and mentally stimulating pursuits have all been associated with helping people stay healthy as they age. These factors might also help reduce the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimers. Researchers are testing some of these possibilities in clinical trials.

Recommended Reading: Alzheimer’s Purple Ribbon

Dr John Day Cardiologist

Dr. John DayDr. Day is a cardiologist specializing in heart rhythm abnormalities at St. Mark Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. He graduated from Johns Hopkins Medical School and completed his residency and fellowships in cardiology and cardiac electrophysiology at Stanford University. He is the former president of the Heart Rhythm Society and the Utah chapter of the American College of Cardiology.

Dementia With Lewy Bodies

This makes the behavior worse

Lewy bodies are deposits of protein that develop throughout the brain, including in the cerebral cortex, which oversees language and thinking. They damage and kill nerves in the brain over time.

In the early stages of dementia with Lewy bodies, alertness and attentiveness may vary wildly from day to day or even throughout the same day.

People with this type of dementia may hallucinate, and they often feel persecuted as a result.

The symptoms may start to resemble Alzheimers as this type of dementia progresses, with episodes of memory loss, shouting, and confrontational behavior. These symptoms can be especially challenging for caregivers.

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Alzheimer’s Or Normal Aging

Just about everyone has minor memory glitches as they get older. If someone forgets a name or why they walked into the kitchen, that doesn’t mean they have Alzheimer’s.

The main problem that defines the disease is trouble planning and handling day-to-day tasks, like paying bills, managing a checkbook, or using familiar appliances around the house.

Medicines For Behavior Problems

Other medicines may be tried to treat anxiety, agitated or hostile behavior, sleep problems, frightening or disruptive false beliefs , suspicion of others , or hallucinations .

Before deciding to use medicine for behavior problems, try to see what is causing the behavior. If you know the cause, you may be able to find better ways of dealing with that behavior. You may be able to avoid treatment with medicine and the side effects and costs that come with it.

Medicines generally are used only for behavior problems when other treatments have failed. They may be needed if:

  • A behavior is severely disruptive or harmful to the person or to others.
  • Efforts to manage or reduce disruptive behavior by making changes in the person’s environment or routines have failed.
  • The behavior is making the situation intolerable for the caregiver.
  • The person has trouble telling the difference between what is and is not real . Psychosis means the person has false beliefs or hears or sees things that aren’t there .

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Does Aricept Treat Depression Or Parkinsons Disease

Aricept is FDA-approved to treat only dementia due to Alzheimers disease. Its not approved to treat other types of dementia or depression.

But Aricept may sometimes be prescribed off-label for other types of dementia. Off-label drug use means using a drug for a purpose other than what its been approved for by the FDA. These uses may include dementia associated with Parkinsons disease. Some clinical studies suggest that Aricept may be beneficial for this use, but more research is needed to confirm this.

Aricept is not known to be effective for depression. In fact, it may cause depression as a rare but serious side effect.

A looked at whether donepezil, taken with antidepressants, could help improve cognitive function in adults with depression. The results showed that donepezil was no better than a placebo .

If you have questions about treatment options for your condition, talk with your doctor.

What Should I Do If A Person With Dementia Is Sleeping A Lot


If the person is in the later stages of dementia and they have gradually started sleeping more and more, it is likely to be due to the dementia progressing.

However, if the excessive sleeping has started more suddenly, or the person doesnt seem well in other ways, it may have another cause.

If this is the case you should speak to the GP, to rule out any infections or conditions that could be affecting the person’s sleep.

It may also be worth asking for a medication review with the GP or speaking to a pharmacist as medication can cause a range of side effects.

If the person is sleeping a lot but it isnt having a negative impact on them it is often best to just go with it and make sure they are comfortable.

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Does Atrial Fibrillation Get Worse Over Time

With the diagnosis of atrial fibrillation, most people want to know does atrial fibrillation get worse over time? While atrial fibrillation is a progressive condition in most people, it doesnt have to be this way. In this article, Ill teach you what you need to do to stop the disease progression and hopefully make your atrial fibrillation go away.

Stage : Mild Dementia Due To Alzheimers Disease

The symptoms of Alzheimers disease during this stage are still mild however, close friends and family may begin to notice signs and symptoms of the disease. Work quality will begin to suffer, and the individual is likely to experience problems when trying to learn something new. Although stage three lasts for approximately seven years, symptoms will become more apparent over a span of two to four years. Its during stage three that Alzheimers disease is most often diagnosed, as it becomes apparent to family and medical professionals that the individual is having significant trouble with memory and thinking, so much so, that it impacts day-to-day activities.

In stage three, an individual may require counseling. They may have mild to moderate denial, depression and anxiety. As this stage progresses and their symptoms worsen, they may require caregiving assistance in their home or in a senior care community.

In stage three, individuals may experience:

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Stage : Very Mild Changes

You still might not notice anything amiss in your loved one’s behavior, but they may be picking up on small differences, things that even a doctor doesn’t catch. This could include forgetting words or misplacing objects.

At this stage, subtle symptoms of Alzheimer’s don’t interfere with their ability to work or live independently.

Keep in mind that these symptoms might not be Alzheimer’s at all, but simply normal changes from aging.

Knowing The Stages Of Dementia Helps You Plan

5 surprising facts about dementia you may not know

Even if the stages arent exact and symptoms can still be unpredictable, being able to plan ahead is essential.

The truth is that Alzheimers and dementia care is expensive and time-consuming. Being financially prepared for increasing care needs is a necessity.

On an emotional level, having an idea of what symptoms to expect helps you find ways to cope with challenging behaviors.

It also gives you a chance to mentally prepare yourself for the inevitable changes in your older adult.

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How To Understand The Difference And Why It Matters

by Kathleen Fifield, AARP, Updated June 15, 2020

Doctors usually rely on observation and ruling out other factors to diagnose Alzheimer’s.

En español | The terms dementia and Alzheimers have been around for more than a century, which means people have likely been mixing them up for that long, too. But knowing the difference is important. In the simplest terms, one is broader than the other. If the two were nesting dolls, Alzheimers would fit inside dementia, but not the other way around. While Alzheimers disease is the most common form of dementia , there are several other types. The second most common form, vascular dementia, has a very different cause namely, high blood pressure. Other types of dementia include alcohol-related dementia, Parkinsons dementia and frontotemporal dementia each has different causes as well. In addition, certain medical conditions can cause serious memory problems that resemble dementia.

A correct diagnosis means the right medicines, remedies and support. For example, knowing that you have Alzheimers instead of another type of dementia might lead to a prescription for a cognition-enhancing drug instead of an antidepressant. Finally, you may be eligible to participate in a clinical trial for Alzheimers if youve been specifically diagnosed with the disease.

The Progression And Stages Of Dementia

Dementia is progressive. This means symptoms may be relatively mild at first but they get worse with time. Dementia affects everyone differently, however it can be helpful to think of dementia progressing in ‘three stages’.

  • You are here: The progression and stages of dementia
  • The progression and stages of dementia

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    What Causes Alzheimer’s Disease

    Alzheimer’s disease happens because of changes in the brain. Some of the symptoms may be related to a loss of chemical messengers in the brain, called neurotransmitters, that allow nerve cells in the brain to communicate properly.

    People with Alzheimer’s disease have two things in the brain that are not normal: amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Experts don’t know if amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles are side effects of Alzheimer’s disease or part of the cause.

    What To Do If Your Older Adult Is Taking Anticholinergic Medications

    My memory is getting worse. Could this be a symptom of ...

    NEVER start, stop, or adjust the dosage for any medications without talking with your older adults doctor.

    The first step is to discuss any medication concerns with the doctor as soon as possible. Ask them to explain the risks versus the benefits and to make a recommendation.

    Because many seniors have multiple health conditions, they may be taking more than one type of anticholinergic medication.

    One anticholinergic drug might not be harmful, but the side effects and doses can add up across different medications.

    Thats why its so important for a doctor to review allthe medications that your older adult takes.

    And if different drugs are being prescribed by different doctors, ask their primary physician to review the full medication list, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements.

    This could also be a good opportunity for the doctor to safely discontinue drugs that are no longer needed.

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    How Does Alzheimers Impact Life Expectancy

    According to a study, the key factors that determine how long someone lives after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are gender, age, and level of disability:

    • While men lived approximately 4.1 years following diagnosis, women lived approximately 4.6 years.
    • When someone who is over the age of 90 is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, they live 3.8 years. In contrast, someone under the age of 70 lived 10.7 years.
    • If a patient was frail when they were diagnosed, they didn’t live as long even after the adjustment for age has been made.

    In the end, the average survival time for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia was 4.5 years.

    Dementia And Alzheimers Disease

    There is a great misunderstanding about the difference between dementia and Alzheimers disease. The reason for the confusion may come from the fact that both conditions target a patients memory and thought process. Let us help you clear things out by describing each degenerative issue.

    Dementia is the main form of a mental syndrome that affects a persons memory and way of thinking. It is a syndrome because it is difficult to diagnose, but a cluster of symptoms define it.

    Alzheimers disease, on the other hand, is the main cause of dementia. This degenerative and irreversible condition targets the brain as it damages the brain cells that affect a persons memory, behavior, thought process, and even wake/sleep cycle.

    So simply put, all Alzheimers patients have dementia, but not all patients with dementia have Alzheimers.

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    Stage : Moderate Dementia Due To Alzheimers Disease

    Its at this stage, which lasts about two years, that Alzheimers disease is much more diagnosable. Symptoms experienced in stage three become much more pronounced. The individual becomes increasingly more forgetful and confused, requiring assistance with self-care and activities of daily living . Mood changes are much more obvious. They also frequently experience a decreased emotional response, especially in challenging situations.

    Individuals with moderate dementia may:

    All the difficulties they begin to face as they move into moderate dementia make it unsafe for them to continue to live on their own. For their own safety and that of others, they eventually require constant supervision. Counseling can be helpful for them and those that care for them as they progress through stage four.


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