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I thought this disease only affects memory. Why is my person having difficulty finding words or recognizing common household items?


Alzheimer's disease and related dementias is a global brain disease that begins in the memory centres of the brain. As this disease progresses it can and will affect decision making, sight, perception, mobility, hearing and sound perception, reflexes, language and speech abilities, ability to manage all tasks of daily life, follow a sequence and will affect their attentional abilities. These symptoms will appear gradually and will appear and disappear making it very difficult for the care partner, family and friends to "believe" that the person is suffering from a memory disease. Sometimes the person in front of you will appear "normal" and then some times will have great difficulty in managing. This can happen when we introduce a new task to the individual, take them away from their familiar environment (like when travelling), or when they are in a large group. At these times more support is needed and helping to reassure the person that help is available. Remembering that the brain is actively changing even though there seems to be no pattern or consistency and that the person with the disease is not purposely trying to be difficult. There are many strategies that can be learned and adopted with the help of an Alzheimer's counsellor or though one of our many educational seminars.

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