An Explanation of Alzheimer’s Disease & Memory Loss

Memory loss doesn’t always mean Alzheimer’s disease is developing. There are some memory issues seniors can experience due to aging, poor emotional health, or another type of dementia. However, Alzheimer’s causes progressive damage to the brain that leads to memory impairment, among other health issues. Here are some of the connections between Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss. 

Abnormal Deposits of Protein

Alzheimer’s causes toxic changes to the brain, such as abnormal deposits of proteins that disrupt brain function and cause amyloid plaques and tau tangles to form. When this happens, healthy neurons stop functioning and eventually die. The damage from these proteins generally takes place in the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain responsible for forming memories. Over time, more neurons will die and cause shrinkage of brain tissues.If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, help is just a phone call away. There are many reasons seniors might need assistance. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic tasks. Butterfly Dreams Respite Care is a leading care home Edmonton, AB, families can rely on to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.

Memories that Could Be Impacted

The first type of memory to be affected by Alzheimer’s disease is generally the short-term memory. Seniors forget things that happened within the past few minutes but can remember people and significant events from more than 20 years ago. As the disease progresses, it leads to long-term memory loss, which means losing permanent memories. Older adults have different long-term memories stored in the brain, and most of those memories will be impacted by Alzheimer’s at some point. These long-term memories include: 
  • Semantic memory – Having a vocabulary of words and knowing what each word or phrase means 
  • Procedural memory – Knowing specific steps necessary to act, such as reciting the lyrics to a favourite song, riding a bicycle, or cooking a family recipe 
  • Episodic memory – Recalling memories related to a specific event in a person’s life, such as a wedding, high school graduation, or the birth of a child
Aging adults who need help handling mental and physical health issues can benefit from the assistance of highly trained professional caregivers. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional respite care. Edmonton Butterfly Dreams Respite Care is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

How to Slow the Progression of Alzheimer’s

To boost their quality of life and enhance their memory, seniors should maintain regular exercise routines and participate in stimulating activities, such as gardening, volunteering, and reading. The foods seniors eat can also slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and boost their overall wellbeing. Some of the best brain-boosting foods include kale, lean meats, blueberries, salmon, nuts, and olive oil. These foods contain antioxidants and fight against toxins that damage brain cells and cause the shrinkage that leads to memory loss. 

Ways to Address Memory Loss

As a family caregiver, you’ll need to make adjustments to your caregiving techniques. When going into your loved one’s room, always state your name before entering to give him or her time to recognize who you are without becoming agitated and afraid. Speak clearly and give your loved one time to process information. If your parent doesn’t understand your statements or questions, ask again, but in a different way. Remain calm, even when things become overwhelming. A negative reaction could disrupt the environment and cause Alzheimer’s symptoms to worsen. If you’re the primary caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, you don’t have to go through it alone. Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is a high-quality Edmonton respite home. Families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation. Butterfly Dreams Respite Care will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call us today at 587-800-4822 to learn more about our customized care plans.