What to expect with Alzheimer’s and dementia

Realising there’s a problem, talking to your doctor, and getting a diagnosis is the most important first step in dealing with Alzheimer’s. It’s possible to live a long, happy, and rewarding life with dementia, but after diagnosis the future can be daunting. Here’s some things to expect, and how best to plan for them.

Research from the Home Instead network looked into the most common issues that people with dementia and their families faced. It’s useful to know what these are so you can be ready to tackle them if they arise.

  • 86% of dementia patients experienced memory loss that disrupted daily life
  • 70% experienced trouble planning
  • 76% struggled with confusion over time and place
  • 80% misplaced things

Each of these are compared to responses of 22% or less in respondents who don’t have dementia. Some less common symptoms were:

  • Having problems with words while speaking or writing (43% of people with dementia)
  • Night-time wakefulness (48%)
  • Hiding things, or rummaging around (48%)
  • Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships (37%)
  • Belligerence, anger or aggression (28%)
  • Hallucinations, delusions or paranoia (20%)
  • Wandering (22%)
  • Refusing to eat (14%)

Keeping these things in mind is useful for your long-term planning. If you’d like to discuss a long-term care plan with our specialist team of in-home caregivers, just get in touch. Introducing some support early-on can make the transition easier as more help is needed later.

While planning, there are a few issues worth thinking about sooner rather than later. Knowing that your dementia won’t prevent you from having an impact on important decisions can be very reassuring, so consider sorting out any legal affairs, including assigning a lasting power of attorney, and your will, now. Make sure you check what financial agreements are in place, such as direct debits etc, as well, so that everything is clear and in order while it’s still easy to make decisions.