Alzheimer is a primary progressive dementia. It is the most common form of dementia; and it is incurable and progressive. It is most often diagnosed in people older than 65 years old, but early-onset can occur.
Despite the fact that the presentation of dementia is different in each individual, there are common symptoms, such as early observable "age-related" concerns such as difficulties in making new memories as well as recalling recently participated/observed events.
As Alzheimer progresses, one can note symptoms such as confusion, aggression, mood swings, communication problems, long term and short term memory loss, as well as a progressive withdrawal of participation as their senses decline. Individual prognosis are difficult to assess and determined, and it can progress undetected for years.
What exactly causes it and it to progress or regress are not totally understood by the medical community. Because it cannot be cured and is degenerative in nature, the management of the disease and patients are very important. The role of the main caregiver is often undertaken by the spouse of a close family member; the burden is often very great on caregivers and families, impacting on social, psychological, economic and physical stress on them.
The role of physiotherapy in this disease, is to maintain or improve the level of mobility and function of the patient's physical abilities. The role of the occupational therapist is to maintain and/or improve the mental ability, capacity and awareness, to participate in daily activities such as socialization, self care and others.
We do take care of several nursing homes (the rehabilitative aspect), and we can help plan or provide respite care for you or your family should you require any help. Patients who have dementia can be managed well with good education and training.