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Thursday, November 18, 2010 jburba, Community Member, asks

Q: what is it like to live with alzheimer's?

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Answers (4)
Carol Bradley Bursack, Health Guide
11/18/10 10:17am

Extremely frightening, since you can't make sense of your world. Depending on the stage, you may not even recognize your own face in the mirror and think it's a "stranger." You feel paraoid because nothing makes sense. You don't know who your spouse is, or your chldren. These are later stages, of course.

For more information, go to www.alzfdn.org or call your local Alzheimer's organization.

 

Best,

Carol

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Christine Kennard, Health Pro
11/18/10 1:00pm

Hi jburba

 

There are two links that may be helpful in answering your question of what it is like to live with Alzheimer's

This first one asks whether Alzheimer's disease destroys personality

The other sharepost gives you some information about Alzheimer's

 

Hope this helps

 

Christine

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NC, Community Member
11/18/10 4:00pm

There are a few members here who are living with it and they wrote about it. You can read the posts and find out many interesting stories.

 

From what I observed from my father-in-law who has late Alzheimer's, I think he is confused for sure. Confusion is one thing that stays. Sometimes he would be afraid or lost and feel insecure as he does not remember anything. Yet he never admits he has Alzheimer's. He does tell people he has something wrong around his brain now. He thinks it is brain injury. But sometimes he is at peace with it. It depends. Sometimes he is not aware of it. In the beginning, he asked for pills for memory problems. Now as he gets sicker, he sometimes does not know anymore and is quite contented. At times he knows he is confused and then he gets upset or anxious. It is a struggle for him, I believe. yet during the struggle, he denies many things we said to him and keeps himself in his own world with his own logic.


Regards,
Nina

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AFA Social Services, Health Guide
12/ 3/10 4:48pm

Although we cannot truly understand what it is like to have Alzheimer's disease, we can picture what daily life would be like based on the symptoms of the disease and their effects.  Consider that with dementia, one's cognitive abilities will be affected in various ways.  An individual might not be able to remember recent events or facts, such as what he or she just ate for lunch.  One might forget how to perform motor skills, like the motions performed when brushing teeth or hair. One might not be able to communicate on the same level as before:  it could be difficult to recall words or understand what was just said. An individual might not even be able to interpret information from the five senses.  For example, the brain may no longer be able to tell a person to pull his or her hand away when touching a hot stove.  As one can imagine, what was once very familiar and comfortable now is confusing and foreign. By getting a better idea of what is happening to the brain when affected by dementia, one can gain perspective on what it must be like to live with this disease, and have a better appreciation on why patience is so important to have when dealing with someone who has Alzheimer's. 

 

You might want to check out the Virtual Dementia Tour Series. This interactive kit enables individuals to "walk in the shoes" of someone with dementia by simulating symptoms of the disease. By heightening sensitivity, it teaches family caregivers how to create a positive environment for their loved ones and enables them to to better cope with difficult behaviors.

http://www.alzfdn.org/AFAStore/estore_VDT.html

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By jburba, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/04/14, First Published: 11/18/10