Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that destroys memory and thinking skills and will eventually erode an affected individual’s ability to carry out simple tasks. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60-80 percent of dementia cases. Alzheimer’s is typically divided into stages: mild (early stage), moderate (middle stage) and severe (late stage). As an individual progresses through each stage, time spent caregiving increases as daily functioning decreases.
Though Alzheimer’s disease has no known cure, treatment can potentially slow progression of symptoms and improve quality of life for patients and caregivers. Treatment can include but is not limited to: medication to slow memory loss and non-drug behavioral treatments to manage symptoms like anxiety, sleeplessness, wandering, agitation and aggression.
Many organizations exist to provide support and resources for patients, caregivers and loved ones facing Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, these organizations contribute to the worldwide effort to fund research to find better treatment options, delay onset and prevent Alzheimer’s from developing.
If you need support right now, call the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline at 1-800-272-3900.