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A Guide to the 5 A’s of Alzheimer’s Disease for Caregivers

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Alzheimer’s Disease is a form of dementia that usually affects aging adults over 65. As the disease worsens, people experience memory loss and other cognitive challenges. It may become difficult for individuals with Alzheimer’s to comprehend words, retain information, or continue a conversation.

If you’re a caregiver looking for ways to help your loved one with Alzheimer’s live a close to normal life, it’s important to educate yourself about the “five A’s” of Alzheimer’s Disease. This refers to the five common cognitive disabilities in all types of dementia – aphasia, amnesia, agnosia, apraxia, and anomia.

Aphasia

Aphasia is a disorder that damages portions of the brain responsible for language, making it difficult for the individual to speak or comprehend what others are saying. When an individual with aphasia tries to communicate, they may face challenges finding the right words. In later stages of Alzheimer’s, the individual’s speech might be difficult to comprehend by the caregiver.

It’s important to seek care in the early stages of Alzheimer’s when your loved one shows signs of aphasia.

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The sooner you consult a professional or help them get care, the easier for you to take measures to control the symptoms. You can get specialized Alzheimer’s care from registered nurses at a reputable memory care home for the highest level of care and attention. We recommend you research memory care options in your home state. For example memory care Georgia will show you the ones in your state. You can do the same but for your state.

Amnesia

Amnesia is a form of memory loss that makes it challenging for an individual to retain memories, information, facts, or experiences. It starts by affecting short-term memories and eventually affects long-term memories.

Due to the damage to the brain, amnesia is typically the most apparent sign of dementia. The best way to help your loved ones is by being patient with them. Try to speak slowly, use visual clues around the house, and reminisce memories together to make them feel comfortable.

Agnosia

Agnosia is a disorder that makes it difficult for an individual to recognize objects, people, or sounds using senses. For example, a person with agnosia may eat something that isn’t food or brush their teeth with an object that isn’t a toothbrush.

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Although rare, this disorder can occur among individuals with Alzheimer’s. The best way to help your loved one with agnosia is by demonstrating how to use an object. Be patient with them as it may take time to get used to a particular object, movement, or procedure.

Apraxia

Apraxia is a neurological condition that affects one’s ability to perform common movements and activities. This occurs when the brain and the muscles required to perform a task don’t communicate, making it difficult for the person to carry out certain tasks. This could include daily activities, such as bathing, walking, dressing, and eating.

It’s best to seek professional memory care when an individual is living with apraxia to ensure your loved one is safe. Someone needs to stay around them, remind them how to perform certain tasks, and reduce the risk of falls and injuries.

Anomia

Anomia is a language-specific disturbance that makes it challenging for one to retrieve known words, and it is a form of aphasia. An individual with anomia may take longer to complete sentences or continue a conversation. The best way to help them is by being patient and not expecting immediate replies when communicating with them or seeking professional care.

Alzheimer’s Disease affects people in numerous ways. Understanding the 5 A’s of Alzheimer’s and how each affects one’s abilities will enable you to provide appropriate care for your loved one.

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