Friday, October 12, 2012

How Memory Works with Alzheimer's and Dementia

I believe in order to understand, cope, and communicate effectively with a person living with dementia you first need to have a "rock solid" understanding of how Alzheimer's affects the brain, and how it works to defeat the brain.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

How Memory Works with Alzheimer's and Dementia

When Alzheimer's or dementia strike it is very difficult to understand how memory is being affected. 
Alzheimer's patients can hold interesting conversations and they can recall, often remember, all kinds of details from their past. 

Because they can converse effectively, many people deny, or fail to believe, that a person is having trouble with their memory. Fail to believe that they are suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

The caregiver of course knows first hand that a person living with dementia is having problems with their memory, daily living, are often moody, and sometimes express challenging behaviors.
The real problem, persons living with dementia cannot remember the right now, or the very recent. After a time, cannot remember what just happened. 
Many caregivers themselves have problems understanding how, or why, a person living with dementia can remember things that happened many years ago, but can't remember what day it is, what month it is, or what they were doing five minutes ago. Or, why the keep asking the same question over and over. 
In this article we will try to demystify these issues, and explain how Alzheimer's desease (AD) affects the memory of a person living with Alzheimer's or a related dementia (ADRD).