Both of my parents' death certificates cited the cause of death as organic brain disease, which basically means dementia . They each had dementia, though each of them suffered from a significantly different type.
Dad's was dramatic. It was the result of surgery that was supposed to prevent the mental decline he would eventually suffer as a result of a World War II brain injury. Something went wrong in the surgery, and he came out of that surgery totally demented.
Mom's dementia was a more general type, which included memory loss and declining ability to make sense of things, but she did not have Alzheimer's disease or vascular dementia.
When I looked at the certificates, I was a bit surprised to find organic brain disease listed as cause of death. I was aware at the time that Alzheimer's was considered terminal, as the body slowly weakens and "forgets" how to function. But I didn't consider that my parents would die from their dementia - especially my mother.
No previous experience necessary! Someone with Alzheimer's may have some limitations but both they and their caregiver will get so much from your attention and the activities you offer them. Anything a volunteer can offer is likely to be highly valued.
There is a lot that friends, relatives and concerned members of the community can do to help people with Alzheimer's. Seven stages of Alzheimer's have been identified. In this Sharepost I look at the disease using a more simple three-stage model of symptoms and the loss of function: the early stage, the middle stage and the severe stage. It provides a framework around which I can offer general tips on how you can help make the life of someone with the disease more fulfilling and happier.
If you are thinking of volunteering it may help you make up your mind by contacting your local Alzheimer's Association. They can give you more information and you can meet other volunteers. Knowing a bit about the disease c...
Alternative Names Chronic brain syndrome; Lewy body dementia; DLB; Vascular dementia; Mild cognitive impairment; MCI Symptoms Dementia symptoms include difficulty with many areas of mental function, including: Language Memory Perception Emotional behavior or personality Cognitive skills (such as calculation, abstract thinking, or judgment) Dementia usually first appears as forgetfulness. Mild cognitive impairment is the stage between normal forgetfulness due to aging and the development of dementia. People with MCI have mild problems with thinking and memory that do not interfere with everyday activities. They are often aware of the forgetfulness. Not everyone with MCI develops dementia. Symptoms of MCI include: Forgetting recent events or conversations Difficulty performing more than one task at a time Difficulty solving problems Taking longer to perform more difficult mental activities The early symptoms of dementia can include: Language problems, such as trouble finding the name of familiar object...
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