What I learned from People with Alzheimer’s

Spending my days with senior adults, many of them have Alzheimer’s.

So what have I learned from this wonderful group?

Most of it boil down to one fact that is not all that different from the rest of us.  They want to be loved.

People with Alzheimer's aren't that different than the rest of us. They just want to feel loved.
People with Alzheimer’s aren’t that different than the rest of us. They just want to feel loved.

Some examples include:

  • I have one lady that sighs every time a hand is placed on her shoulder.
  • I have another man who constantly says “I love you.”
  • I have a lady that claps her hands when she sees a familiar face.
  • I have another lady who will take your hands and kiss them.
  • I have a lady that is a recluse, but a hand on the shoulder and kind word will elicit a smile


These are just some of the common responses I see on a daily basis.  They just want to know they are not forgotten and that someone cares.

We often think that they don’t know when family visits.  However, I’ve seen time again the way a face lights up when family appears.  I’ve also seen the sadness of watching a peer with his/her family.   We may not think so, but they are aware of whether loved ones visit on a regular basis or not.  Again, they know if they are loved and wanted or not.

No, they may not remember who you are and they may have forgotten what you’d just said, but they also know how you make them feel.

10 Types of dementia

We hear the terms dementia and Alzheimer’s, but exactly what do they mean.

There are actually several types of dementia.

First let’s define the term dementia.  It is a general term for a loss of memory or other mental abilities that are severe enough to interfere with day to day life.

So what are the types of dementia?types dementia

  1. Alzhiemer’s disease—most common type of dementia.
  2. Vascular dementia-often occurs after a stroke
  3. Dementia with Lewy bodies—have abnormal aggregations of the protein alphasynuclein
  4. Parkinson’s disease
  5. Mixed dementia—linked to more than one kind of dementia
  6. Frontotemporal dementia
  7. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  8. Huntington’s Disease—progressive brain disorder
  9. Normal Pressure hydrocephalus
  10. Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome—caused by severe deficiency of vitamin B-1


For a more in-depth view of symptoms, causes and treatments check out Alz.org and Alzheimers.net

7 stages of Alzheimer’s

There are 7 stages of Alzheimer’s

  1. No impairmentStages of Alz
  2. Minor memory problems, such as losing things
  3. Mild memory and cognitive problems
  4. Poor short term memory
  5. Significant confusion and more help with day to day activities
  6. Need for constant supervision
  7. Nearing death

For more detailed information on these stages check these links at: Alzheimer’s.net and Alzheimer’s.org

10 early warning signs of Alzheimer’s

Are you wondering if a loved one has Alzheimer’s?

Some of the early warning signs include:know the signs

  1. Challenges in planning or solving problems
  2. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, work or leisure activities
  3. Memory loss that disrupts day to day life
  4. Problems with speaking and writing words
  5. Confusion with time and place
  6. Trouble understanding visual images, distance and colors and other spatial relationships.
  7. Poor judgement calls
  8. Withdrawal from work or social activities
  9. Misplacing things and the inability to find them
  10. Changes in mood or personality

What other warning signs have you noticed?

Alzheimer’s awareness month

Alz awarenessNovember is Alzheimer’s Awareness month.

President Ronald Reagan suffered from Alzheimer's disease for a decade
President Ronald Reagan suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for a decade

This was designated by President Ronald Reagan in 1983.  Ironically, President Reagan would go on to battle Alzheimer’s himself in later years.

According to Alzheimer’s.org, less than 2 million Americans had Alzheimer’s in 1983.

Today, more than 5.4 million suffer from the disease.

How have you been effected by Alzheimer’s?

How can you spread the word about Alzheimer’s?