Alzheimer’s Disease or Memory Loss

alzheimers or memory loss

Although Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss are two terms that are inter-related to each other but the fact is that they cannot be considered as the same. This is true that memory loss is one of the major signs of Alzheimer’s disease. There are some basic differences between the two. Only by complete medical examination it could be found whether a patient is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or memory loss.

Difference between Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease with a definite pathogenesis, signs and symptoms; a neurodegenerative disease is the one that is caused by certain degenerative process taking place in certain areas of the brain either physiologically or chemically, while on the other hand memory loss cannot be considered as a neurodegenerative disease. It can be a sign of other diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinsonism or meningitis.  Also memory loss is not a disease. There is very little effect on mental health of the patient at the start of disease but the condition becomes worse with the passage of time. On the other hand onset of memory loss occurs mostly with increasing age or it is associated with other medical conditions. In certain cases the progression is not predictable, Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible disease while in certain cases memory loss can be reversible. Dementia is critical in Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia can be considered as the impaired mental functioning of an individual, it includes cognitive impairment and behavioral problems. On the other hand dementia is not necessarily associated with memory loss. The loss of thinking, learning, writing and image perception are associated with the dementia occurring in the Alzheimer’s disease disease. There are also behavioral changes like mood changes, withdrawal from social activities and psychosis. All these symptoms are not associated with memory loss. Memory loss causes social and behavioral problems which occur due to forgetfulness but they cannot be considered as a result of dementia.

Memory loss can be of two different types. These are short term memory loss and long term memory loss. As short term memory loss is associated with loss of memory of events occurring in the recent past like name of a recent acquaintance, while long term memory loss is associated with the loss of information related to the events that occurred in distant past like childhood memories. On the other hand Alzheimer’s disease is associated with loss of both long term and short term memory.  Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss also differ in their causes. Causes of Alzheimer’s disease are not fully known. Research has shown that there are no definite causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Major factors involved in Alzheimer’s disease diseases may be genetic or environmental. Multiple factors are responsible for the disease. Real cause of the disease is not known. Memory loss, on the other hand is caused by definite causes one of which is Alzheimer’s disease. Other causes include stress, emotional or psychological disturbance, alcoholism, head trauma, drug abuse, sleep disturbances, malnutrition and many diseases like epilepsy, Parkinsonism, meningitis, brain tumor and cardiovascular diseases.

These points differentiate the Alzheimer’s disease from memory loss. But it is true that memory loss is the first and major alarming sign associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

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OnApril 2, 2012, posted in: Senior Home Care by

Big Bold Business Video

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OnFebruary 22, 2012, posted in: Videos by

Life Is A Journey

It is often said that growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional. Therein lays not only the key to longevity, but to maximally enjoying one’s golden and twilight years—remaining young at heart. A “young” heart’s best friend is an active mind. It is imperative to keep learning, keep wondering and keep cynicism and jadedness at bay. One has to remain open to new things, whether they are experiences, music, food, or changing social norms and attitudes. On the flip side, what you enjoyed most as a child will probably still bring you great joy decades on.

If agility allows it, give the hula hoop a whirl. Indulge in ice cream, watch an old movie, spend more time outdoors. It’s never too late to start a new hobby or pick up an old one. These may seem like clichés but don’t balk, because there’s a reason such sentiments have been so oft-repeated throughout time. I could say to drink green tea or meditate (not to detract from either, they are both with merit) but that’s not our focus here. That’s not how one holds on to their youthful spirit.

Life is a journey and it is our travel companions that make the trip worthwhile.

Good tips:

  • Cultivate and maintain lasting relationships with friends and family
  • Write letters or emails, make phone calls, plan visits—the medium doesn’t matter so long as you’re communicating and connecting.
  • Perhaps more importantly, surround yourself with positive people and share in others’ happiness and success.
  • If you have the time, space, energy, etc., foster or adopt a cat or dog. You’ll derive great pleasure from knowing you saved the life of another living creature and in return, you’ll get unconditional love and affection. From both medical and psychological standpoints, studies have consistently shown the therapeutic and transformative powers of pets.

What it really boils down to is staying active and being part of something larger than yourself. If you’re fit enough for physical activity (which doesn’t have to be rigorous, even a leisurely stroll counts), by all means, do so. But we recognize that this may not always be an option, and it’s infinitely more important not to let one’s brain atrophy. If you’re at a loss for what to do, or can’t find others with whom to do it, community centers are great resources. They offer all sorts of groups, classes, and even trips broken down by interest and/or age.

It’s easier said than done but generally speaking, try not to take yourself, or life, too seriously. There’s humor to be found in most situations and the more you let yourself go with the flow, the better off you’ll be. Time is the most precious commodity there is, so be thankful for each day and don’t waste them dwelling on the ifs, ands, or buts. Ultimately, heed the old adage, “Worry is like a rocking chair–it gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere.”

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OnNovember 2, 2011, posted in: Senior Home Care by

Siblings Coordinating Home Care Services for Their Parents

Siblings Coordinating Home Care Services for Their Parents

There are two sure ways that will send you back to childhood:  going home for the holidays and needing to deal with aging parents.  When a crisis occurs, adult children are immediately thrown back into childhood roles, highlighting all the hidden or ignored family dysfunctions.    Adult children may be in denial over their parent’s condition, they may lack the knowledge and information to deal with the situation, leading to more confusion, denial or hurt feelings.  Often there is an unspoken agreement to which child will care for Mom and Dad, such as the first born, the one that lives closest, the one who is unemployed, or the one with the financial resources.  Stepping into the role of making decision for your parents is not an easy one.  In the best of situations the stress involved in caring for elderly parents in unavoidable.  Your parents may be frightened or confused or feeling too proud to ask for assistance.  So what can be done to alleviate the inevitable?  Here are five tips to ease the sibling distress:

1)      Get everyone involved

When it becomes apparent that home care services are needed, it is time to call a family meeting.  Make sure that all members of the family are involved in the process, and that everyone has a good understanding of the situation.  It may be time to seek the advice of an elder care attorney in regards to important legal documents, such Power of Attorney or Living Wills.

2)      BE HONEST!

Stepping into the “parenting the parent” role is difficult.  Forty – seven (47%) percent of family caregivers have clinically significant symptoms of depression, with approximately a quarter to half of these caregivers meeting the diagnostic criteria for major depression (Zarit, S. 2006) Caregivers need to be honest with their siblings about their parents condition and their own condition – emotionally, physically and financially.

3) Don’t assume anything

Many times siblings assume either that things are going fine, that the situation is “under control” or that the sibling assuming the lead role wants it that way.  None of these may be true.  Ask questions about everything and communicate frequently!

4) Listen to what your parents say

REALLY listen to what your parents tell you – and what they don’t tell you.  Often times their pride will prevent them from asking for help or from telling you what is really bothering them.  Instead of asking “How can I help you?”, ask “What tasks don’t you enjoy doing any longer?”  Be patient and allow your parents to ease into this new shifting of roles.

5) Consider a Qualified Home Care Service

If all attempts to work with your siblings fail, consider using qualified home care service that provides a high level of care necessary for your parents.  Cedas Home Care Services is here to help!

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OnMay 5, 2011, posted in: Senior Home Care by

Cecile Sutherland doing a presentation

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OnNovember 5, 2010, posted in: Videos by