As a person ages, a certain amount of memory loss and confusion is quite normal. Personally, I've been known to invoke the clich?, "The older I get, the better I was!" Unfortunately, Alzheimer's disease represents a more serious loss of mental sharpness and calls for special care for seniors.
Alzheimer's Disease is a progressive form of pre-senile dementia. Symptoms are typically first noted in a person's late forties or early fifties. As the disease takes effect, it will first impact memory. Impaired thought and speech will follow with the patient eventually becoming helpless.
Alzheimer's is a truly horrible disease because it robs a person of their ability to function. The disease is also damaging to family and friends as it is very difficult to watch a parent, brother, sister or friend progress to the point where they don't recognize anyone. The burden of caring for a person suffering from Alzheimer's is significant. At some point in time, a family will have to look for assistance with the care.
Most "board and care" and "assisted living facilities" are willing and capable of providing for a person suffering from Alzheimer's. These facilities are similar to nursing homes, but with less of an institutional atmosphere. If, however, a senior becomes increasingly disoriented, perhaps even occasionally wandering away, they may require a facility with a dementia waiver.
Despite the name, a "dementia waiver" is an indication that a facility and staff have additional training and licensing for the care of patients with dementia. On top of the additional training, the actual facility may be secured with a perimeter to keep patients on the grounds.
Alzheimer's disease leaves a mark on family and friends as well as the victim. There are, however, facility options that can at least take the care burden off of you.
Alex Jensen is with http://www.careplacement.com - a free placement service for seniors in need of assisted living, board and care or skilled nursing facilities in San Diego and Southern California.