Alzheimer's disease is a condition that affects the brain and typically occurs in a person's middle late life. It affects both men and women of all races, cultures, and backgrounds. The disease is a slowly progressing form of dementia, and the rate of progression is different for every person.
People with Alzheimer's disease experience memory loss, language problems, and changes in decision-making ability, judgment, and personality. The cause of Alzheimer's disease is unknown.
Alzheimer's disease is caused by a destruction of nerve cells in the brain that leads to a disconnection of areas of the brain that normally work together. The most common risk factors are old age and a family history of dementia. Early to middle stage symptoms of the disease include repeating statements frequently, often misplacing items, difficulty finding names for familiar objects, getting lost on familiar routes, and personality changes.
Because people with Alzheimer's disease may have difficulty completing routine tasks in their day-to-day lives, occupational therapists can help individuals and their families to adapt tasks and environments to help promote or maximize independence, safety and function.
Alzheimer's disease is a serious illness that should not go untreated. Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants are trained in helping both adults and children with a broad range of physical, cognitive, developmental, and psychological impairments and conditions. Practitioners also help clients and their caregivers with strategies that can prevent injury and secondary complications, and support health and well being. Contact your local health organizations for more information.