Alzheimer's Disease Causes, Stages, and Symptoms (cont.)
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Alzheimer's disease facts*
- What is dementia?
- What is Alzheimer's disease?
- Who develops Alzheimer's disease?
- What are the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease?
- Ten warning signs of Alzheimer's disease
- What are the causes Alzheimer's disease?
- What are risk factors for Alzheimer's disease?
- How is the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease made?
- What is the prognosis of a person with Alzheimer's disease?
- What treatment and management options are available for Alzheimer's disease?
- Cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEIs)
- Partial glutamate antagonists
- Non-medication based treatments
- Treatment of psychiatric symptoms
- Potential and future therapies for Alzheimer's disease
- Caring for the caregiver and Alzheimer's disease resources
- National Institute on Aging home safety for people with Alzheimer's disease
- General safety concerns for persons with Alzheimer's disease
- Is it safe to leave the person with Alzheimer's disease alone?
- Home safety room-by-room
- Home safety behavior-by-behavior
- Special occasions/gatherings/holidays
- Impairment of the senses
- Natural disaster safety
- Who would take care of the person with Alzheimer's disease if something happened to you?
- Additional resources
- Alzheimer's Disease FAQs
- Find a local Geriatrician in your town
Who Would Take Care of the Person with Alzheimer's disease if Something Happened to You?
It is important to have a plan in case of your own illness, disability, or death.
- Consult a lawyer about setting up a living trust, durable power of attorney for health care and finances, and other estate planning tools.
- Consult with family and close friends to decide who will take responsibility for the person with Alzheimer's. You also may want to seek information about your local public guardian's office, mental health conservator's office, adult protective services, or other case management services. These organizations may have programs to assist the person with Alzheimer's in your absence.
- Maintain a notebook for the responsible person who will assume caregiving. Such a notebook should contain the following information:
- emergency phone numbers
- current problem behaviors and possible solutions
- ways to calm the person with Alzheimer's
- assistance needed with toileting, feeding, or grooming
- favorite activities or food
Preview board and care or long-term care facilities in your community and select a few as possibilities. Share this information with the responsible person. If the person with Alzheimer's disease is no longer able to live at home, the responsible person will be better able to carry out your wishes for long-term care.
Home safety takes many forms. This booklet focuses on the physical environment and specific safety concerns. But the home environment also involves the needs, feelings, and lifestyles of you the caregiver, your family, and the person with Alzheimer's disease. Disability affects all family members, and it is crucial to maintain your emotional and physical welfare in addition to ensuring a safe environment.
We encourage you to make sure you have quiet time, time out, and time to take part in something you enjoy. Protect your own emotional and physical health. Your local Alzheimer's Association chapter can help you with the support and information you may need as you address this very significant checkpoint in your home safety list. You are extremely valuable. As you take on a commitment to care for a person with Alzheimer's, please take on the equally important commitment to care for yourself.
Next: Additional resources
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