Thursday, June 16, 2022
HomeWhat Is It Called When Alzheimer's Patients Remember

What Is It Called When Alzheimer’s Patients Remember

How To Best Respond

Caregiver Training: Refusal to Bathe | UCLA Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care

Families and friends of those affected by dementia often do not know how to respond when their loved ones rely on these remote memories, at heart, living in the past. Its certainly not the case that these remote memories should be ignored or suppressed.

Rather than trying to bring the person with dementia back to reality, families and carers may try to enter their reality building trust and empathy, and reducing anxiety. This is known as validation therapy but many families and carers will practise this technique without knowing its name.

Reminiscence therapy has also been shown to increase mood, well-being and behaviour in those with dementia. This involves the discussion of past activities, events and experiences .

Alzheimers Australia has some fantastic help sheets and phone line to help carers and family members communicate with loved ones with dementia.

Dont Answer Questions Of Patient/loved Ones Regarding Bad Memories

People with Alzheimer’s often ask difficult questions, mostly about people who have passed away years ago. Its not helpful to remind the patient and/or loved one that a person theyre asking about has passed away. Rather than avoid the subject, you can say, He/shes not here right now, but tell me about him/her. Often the person with memory loss is looking for the sensation and security that they would have if their loved one was around.

Caregivers and/or family members should be helping patients and/or loved ones comfortable, safe, and protected. Elderly women, for example, who have had children commonly ask, Where are my babies? This question will often come up at meal time, when feeding the children was an important part of motherhood. Find a way to soothe their concern. You could say, The babies are sleeping.

As stated earlier, trying to bring a person with Alzheimer’s the present-day reality is not effective. Caregivers and/or family members should adapt to the patient and/or loved ones reality. Its ok to go anywhere in any time period in order to communicate.

What Can I Expect If I Have Amnesia

Amnesia can last hours, days, months or even longer. Your individual outcome is best predicted by your healthcare provider who has examined you and determined the cause and the severity of your amnesia. People with amnesia generally have to rely on family and friends to fill in the gaps in their memory and function in daily life.

Also Check: Does Smelling Farts Help Prevent Dementia

How Alzheimer’s Disease Is Treated

There’s currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but medicines are available that can help relieve some of the symptoms.

Various other types of support are also available to help people with Alzheimer’s live as independently as possible, such as making changes to your home environment so it’s easier to move around and remember daily tasks.

Psychological treatments such as cognitive stimulation therapy may also be offered to help support your memory, problem solving skills and language ability.

Read more about treating Alzheimer’s disease.

Dont Say No Dont Or Cant

ALZHEIMER

One of the biggest mistakes in dealing with patients and/or loved ones with memory loss is being negative and telling them that they cant do something. Words like no,” don’t, or can’t create resistance. This comes up regularly with family members when the patient and/or loved one might be still driving, and the caregiver and/or family member has made the decision to stop them from driving. One should never say, You can’t drive anymore. They can still technically drive , and they can get very combative when told no. A way to counter this is to say, I know you still can drive, that’s not even a question, but you know what happened the other day? I was out on the highway and this car cut me off, and I had to make a split-second decision it was really scary Its likely they will say, You know what? I’m having a little trouble with those decisions too. The issue isn’t the mechanical driving, it has more to do with comprehension, and many times this answer works much better than, You can’t drive anymore, which can be construed as confrontational.

You may find a patient and/or loved one up too early or confused about time. Instead of using messages such as, Youre up too early, you need to go to bed, try leading with statements such as, You know, I’m getting sleepy. Id like a little snack before I go to bed, and then gesture for the patient and/or loved one to sit with you.

Don’t Miss: What Is The Difference Between Dementia And Senility

Coping With A Loved Ones Memory Loss

Alzheimers patients experience a great deal of uncertainty, confusion, fear and frustration on a daily basis. So, too, do their family caregivers. Witnessing a loved ones slow cognitive decline is very painful.

It takes an emotional toll on the caregiver, explains Louise Kenny, LCSW. They grieve watching their loved one lose their memory.

After more than a decade as a bereavement counselor at Avow Hospice in Naples, Fla., Kenny left her job to care for her aging father. She advises her fellow caregivers to educate themselves as much as possible about the diseases their loved ones haveespecially dementiaso they will be prepared for whatever may lie ahead.

Really understanding the type of dementia your loved one is going through will make caregiving a bit easier, Kenny notes. If you can, keep that in the forefront. Realize that its not intentional and that there are physical and neurological reasons for their memory loss.

There are also some practical steps that family caregivers can take to better cope with the challenges and uncertainties that come with dementia care.

Time Perception In Dementia

Those with dementia judge the passage of time quicker than older adults without dementia, as well as younger adults. This is for prospective time perception, where people are instructed to estimate an upcoming time interval and retrospective time estimation, where people judge time after the event has occurred, requiring them to mentally travel back in time.

As a practical example, a person with dementia is likely to underestimate how long they waited at a bus stop and how long they will be on the bus for their specified journey .

Those diagnosed with dementia may underestimate time due to difficulties in recollecting all events in the short-term past, creating a feeling of a relative empty time travel. Someone without dementia may remember the boy cycling his bike, the yellow car parked next to the shop, the noisy lawn mower, and the couple playing tennis, on their walk to the bus stop while someone with dementia is likely to remember fewer of these events, creating the sense that less has occurred and therefore less time has past.

Don’t Miss: Smelling Your Own Farts Prevents Cancer

How Is Amnesia Diagnosed

Your healthcare provider may assess your memory through talking with you and observing how well you encode information they give you or how well you can recall past information. They may consult with people who know you to find out how your memory works in daily life. They may also refer you for formal memory testing, called a Neuropsychological evaluation.

To determine the cause of amnesia, your provider may order blood tests to check vitamin B1 levels, B12 levels and thyroid hormones. They may order imaging tests, such as an MRI or computed tomography scan to look for signs of brain damage, such as brain tumors or stroke. An EEG may be ordered to check for seizure activity. A spinal tap may be ordered to check for brain infections as a cause of the memory loss.

Stage : Age Associated Memory Impairment

1 Early signs of dementia

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.

Don’t Miss: Andrea Mitchell Speech Problems

What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider

  • Is my memory loss normal for my age?
  • What is causing my memory loss?
  • Are there any medications that can help with the disorder causing my loss?
  • Will my memory get better or worse over time?
  • How can my family and friends help me?
  • Are there therapies or cognitive rehabilitation that would be appropriate for my memory loss?
  • Can you recommend mental health resources like a psychiatrist and therapist ?

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/29/2020.

References

Stage : Normal Outward Behavior

Alzheimer├ós disease usually starts silently, with brain changes that begin years before anyone notices a problem. When your loved one is in this early phase, they won’t have any symptoms that you can spot. Only a PET scan, an imaging test that shows how the brain is working, can reveal whether they have Alzheimer’s.

As they move into the next six stages, your friend or relative with Alzheimer’s will see more and more changes in their thinking and reasoning.

Read Also: Is Senility The Same As Dementia

How Is Alzheimers Disease Diagnosed

Doctors use several methods and tools to help determine whether a person who is having memory problems has Alzheimers disease.

To diagnose Alzheimers, doctors may:

  • Ask the person and a family member or friend questions about overall health, use of prescription and over-the-counter medicines, diet, past medical problems, ability to carry out daily activities, and changes in behavior and personality.
  • Conduct tests of memory, problem solving, attention, counting, and language.
  • Carry out standard medical tests, such as blood and urine tests, to identify other possible causes of the problem.
  • Perform brain scans, such as computed tomography , magnetic resonance imaging , or positron emission tomography , to support an Alzheimers diagnosis or to rule out other possible causes for symptoms.

These tests may be repeated to give doctors information about how the persons memory and other cognitive functions are changing over time.

People with memory and thinking concerns should talk to their doctor to find out whether their symptoms are due to Alzheimers or another cause, such as stroke, tumor, Parkinsons disease, sleep disturbances, side effects of medication, an infection, or another type of dementia. Some of these conditions may be treatable and possibly reversible.

In addition, an early diagnosis provides people with more opportunities to participate in clinical trials or other research studies testing possible new treatments for Alzheimers.

What Will The Doctor Do

New mechanism that causes Alzheimer

It can be hard for a doctor to diagnose Alzheimer disease because many of its symptoms can be like those of other conditions affecting the brain. The doctor will talk to the patient, find out about any medical problems the person has, and will examine him or her.

The doctor can ask the person questions or have the person take a written test to see how well his or her memory is working. Doctors also can use medical tests to take a detailed picture of the brain. They can study these images and look for signs of Alzheimer disease.

When a person is diagnosed with Alzheimer disease, the doctor may prescribe medicine to help with memory and thinking. The doctor also might give the person medicine for other problems, such as depression . Unfortunately, the medicines that the doctors have can’t cure Alzheimer disease they just help slow it down.

Also Check: Smelling Fart Prevents Cancer

What Are The Symptoms Of Alzheimer’s Disease

Memory loss is usually the first sign of Alzheimer’s disease. Often the person who has a memory problem doesn’t notice it, but family and friends do.

Having some short-term memory loss in your 60s and 70s is common, but this doesn’t mean it’s Alzheimer’s disease.

Normal memory problems aren’t the same as the kind of memory problems that may be caused by Alzheimer’s disease. For example, normally you might forget:

  • Parts of an experience.
  • Where your car is parked.
  • A person’s name.

With Alzheimer’s disease, you might forget:

  • An entire experience.
  • What your car looks like.
  • Having ever known a certain person.

Following are some of the symptoms of mild, moderate, and severe Alzheimer’s disease. Symptoms vary as the disease progresses. Talk to your doctor if a friend or family member has any of the signs.

Mild Alzheimer’s disease

Usually, a person with mild Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Avoids new and unfamiliar situations.
  • Has delayed reactions.
  • Has trouble learning and remembering new information.
  • Starts speaking more slowly than in the past.
  • Starts using poor judgment and making wrong decisions.
  • May have mood swings and become depressed, grouchy, or restless.

These symptoms often are more obvious when the person is in a new and unfamiliar place or situation.

Some people have memory loss called mild cognitive impairment. People with this condition are at risk for Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia. But not all people with mild cognitive impairment progress to dementia.

What Causes Amnesia

Amnesia causes are divided into two categories: neurological and functional. Here are some of the most common causes.

Neurological Amnesia.

  • Trauma from a car crash, sports, a fall from a ladder, penetrating object , etc.

Brain diseases:

High levels of corticosteroid.

Functional/Psychogenic/Dissociative Amnesia.

Functional amnesia, a psychiatric disorder, is rarer than neurological amnesia. It is not associated with any known brain trauma or disease but rather appears to occur because of an emotional trauma. This is usually retrograde amnesia . Occasionally, it is so severe that the person may forget their own identity.

Don’t Miss: What Is The Difference Between Dementia And Senility

When To See A Gp

If you’re worried about your memory or think you may have dementia, it’s a good idea to see a GP.

If you’re worried about someone else’s memory problems, encourage them to make an appointment and perhaps suggest that you go along with them.

Memory problems are not just caused by dementia they can also be caused by depression, stress, medicines or other health problems.

A GP can carry out some simple checks to try to find out what the cause may be, and they can refer you to a specialist for more tests if necessary.

Read more about diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease.

Page last reviewed: 05 July 2021 Next review due: 05 July 2024

Rummaging And Hiding Things

How Doctors Tell Patients They’re Dying | Being Mortal | FRONTLINE

Caring for a patient who rummages around or hides things in the home can be a challenge, but not an insurmountable one.

Rummaging/hiding things behavior management
Protecting property
Lock certain rooms or cabinets to protect their contents, and lock up all valuables.
Have mail delivered out of reach of your loved oneperhaps to a post office box.
If items do disappear, learn the persons preferred hiding places.
Restrict access to trashcans, and check all wastebaskets before disposing of their contents in case objects have been hidden there.
Protecting your loved one from harm
Prevent access to unsafe substances, such as cleaning products, alcohol, firearms, power tools, sharp knives, and medications.
Block unused electrical outlets with childproofing devices. Hide stove knobs so the person cant turn on the burners.
Lower the temperature on water heaters.
Designate a special drawer of items that the person can safely play with when keen to rummage.

Read Also: What Color Ribbon Is Alzheimer’s

Symptoms In The Later Stages

People in the later stages of dementia become increasingly frail and depend more on other people for support. As dementia progresses and causes changes to the person’s brain, they may struggle to do many of the things they used to. However, even in the later stages the person may experience moments of lucidity and some of their abilities may return temporarily.

The person’s reactions are likely to be influenced by their environment and how they feel. For example, they may react more positively if they are in a familiar environment or one where they feel comfortable.

People in the later stages of dementia often experience problems with the following:

  • memory
  • changes in behaviour.

Dont Ask A Person With Short

A patient and/or loved one can construe even the simplest of conversation starters as a real question, but they honestly dont know the answer to it. This can be embarrassing and can send them back into a fogthey try their best to give an answer that makes sense to them and often produce immediate physical concerns: I’m having a lot of pain, for example. A caregiver and/or family member might ask, What did you have for breakfast? and the person with memory loss doesn’t remember at all. They might say earnestly, I haven’t had anything to eat for weeks, . So these are questions to avoid because it causes fear for the person, that they have failed. But there things you can talk about

Don’t Miss: What Is The Difference Between Dementia And Senility

Create A Calm And Soothing Environment

The environment and atmosphere you create while caregiving can play a large part in helping an Alzheimers or dementia patient feel calm and safe.

Modify the environment to reduce potential stressors that can create agitation and disorientation. These include loud or unidentifiable noises, shadowy lighting, mirrors or other reflecting surfaces, garish colors, and patterned wallpaper.

Maintain calm within yourself. Getting anxious or upset in response to problem behavior can increase the patients stress. Respond to the emotion being communicated by the behavior, not the behavior itself. Try to remain flexible, patient, and relaxed. If you find yourself becoming anxious or losing control, take time out to cool down.

RELATED ARTICLES

Most Popular