When you’ve seen one Alzheimer’s affected . . .

The saying among Alzheimer’s caregivers and the affected is that once you have seen one person affected with Alzheimer’s, you have seen one person with Alzheimer’s.

What this not-too-subtle observation suggests is that Alzheimer’s impacts each person affected and each affected’s family in different ways, and the progress of the disease tracks differently with each man or woman impacted.

Named for Alois Alzheimer who described the disease in 1906, Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that is both progressive and fatal, although the time consumed by the “long goodbye” varies from affected to affected.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, according to WebMd include:

Serious memory problems affect your ability to carry out everyday life activities such as driving a car, shopping, or handling money. Signs of serious memory problems may include:
Getting lost in a place you know well may be a sign of a serious memory problem.
• Asking the same questions over and over again.
• Becoming lost in places. you know well.
• Not being able to follow directions.
• Getting very confused about time, people, and places.
• Not taking care of yourself — eating poorly, not bathing, or being unsafe.

The disease may occur in the 30’s (Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease) or around 65 and progress in clearly delineated stages.

For one of many excellent resource lists for the affected and their caregivers, check this resource list.

Caregivers or early onset affected are invited to join a private online support group. To obtain more information, contact Sharon Shaw at puffin@puffinsplace.com

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