Disability Care & Alzheimer’s


Caregiver Assistance for Loved Ones with Disabilities in Tucson, Arizona

In this blog post I will be discussing providing Disability Care, specifically for Loved Ones with Dementia and Alzheimer’s.

What is dementia? Dementia is a gradual decline in mental and social functioning compared to an individual’s previous level of functioning. A loved one may have memory loss, personality change, behavior problems, and loss of judgment, learning ability, attention and orientation to time and place and to oneself as a result of having dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, and we will spend more time on this in later blogs as it will likely be one of the more frequent causes of cognitive impairment of residents.

Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic, progressive debilitating illness. At first the symptoms are mild and might include difficulty remembering names and recent events, showing poor judgment and having hard time learning new information. At this early stage the person often tries to deny their problems.

Most difficulties at this time are with performing Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). As Alzheimer’s disease progresses the person is unable to judge between safe and unsafe conditions and will require help to dress, eat, bathe and make basic care decisions. In addition, there may be personality changes such as increased suspiciousness. Unfamiliar people, places and activities can cause confusion and stress. The resident will typically show less interest in others and wants to withdraw to familiar, predictable surroundings and routines.

In the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease the resident may have difficulty performing basic ADLs. Some common behaviors associated with Alzheimer’s disease are rapid mood changes, crying, anger, pacing, wandering, doing things over and over, asking the same question, following people closely and inappropriate sexual behaviors. Pacing, in particular is very common in the care home environment.

Tucson Care for Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease has no cure and no known treatment that can prevent or delay its onset. The condition, still not fully understood, has been tied to a number of possible risk factors; ranging from lack of mental exercise to poor dental health. But since the disease is so hard to detect, and its exact causes remain unknown, preventative treatment is next to impossible. Fortunately, researchers realize how important early action is in decreasing the severity of the disease, and new studies have been able to determine the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s development.Knowing it is crucial to ensure the earliest possible treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, researchers have been examining patients earlier and earlier for possible warning signs. Some of the latest progress has been to establish a timeline beginning as early as 25 years before the initial onset of dementia, in an effort to identify the early indicators of the disease, and work to halt the body’s mechanisms before the condition fully develops.The first sign can manifest as early as 25 years before a patient displays the first symptoms of dementia—a drop in levels of beta amyloids within the spinal fluid. Beta amyloids are a kind of protein that causes a plaque buildup in the brain, which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. This is easily detectable with modern technology.

The next sign, 10 years later and 15 years before the first onset of the disease, is the detection of these beta amyloids forming in clumps around the brain. This is detected via brain scans, and is also accompanied by shrinking brain structures, and a rise of a toxic “tau” protein in the spinal fluid.

When the onset of the disease is about 10 years away, medical professionals can observe a drop in the brain’s efficiency of using glucose. At this point, very mild difficulty in memory-related tasks can be observed. I have found that elderly people at all cost do not want to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia. This makes the task of getting them to the doctor for the test very difficult. This is where you and I team up and encourage them together & ensure them that we will be there always for them in unconditional love no matter the outcome!

Our Author & Resident Caregiver
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In this blog post I will be discussing providing Disability Care, specifically for Loved Ones with Dementia and Alzheimer’s.