How Does Alzheimer’s Affect The Memory?
The early stages of Alzheimer’s are marked by an effect on short term memory. Short term memory is the period in time when a person only recalls information that he or she was exposed to. Short term memories only hold 5 to 9 items of information. For Alzheimer’s patients, the condition may cause them to forget what they ate for breakfast or cause them to keep repeating themselves in conversations.
The Effects of Alzheimer’s on Long-Term Memory
As the disease progresses, the long term memory of the patients is also affected. Long term memory is where the brain remembers something for more than two days, sometimes even for decades. Long term memories are relatively permanent unlike short term ones. The types of long term memory are:
- Semantic memory: these are declarative memories where someone can explain and declare them and they refer specifically to the meaning of words and actions.
- Episodic memory: these memories encompass specific events and the information related to those events.
- Procedural memory: these are memories on how to do something which includes specific steps required to accomplish a task.
In the progression of Alzheimer’s, semantic, episodic, and procedural memories gradually erode. Patients usually have a difficult time storing the information in long term memory and retrieving it. They may find it challenging when it comes to finding words and memories of significant events, as those also begin to fade away.
Long-term memories that require multiple steps to remember can be especially difficult for those suffering from Alzheimer’s. While they may be able to remember the face of a family member and even know that it’s a family member, they may be unable to remember what relation they have with that person.
Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s
Memory loss can be very frustrating for those suffering from Alzheimer’s as well as for their loved ones and those around them. It can often be very difficult to care for them as well. It’s important to always introduce yourself, show them pictures of friends and family, and always try to be patient with them when they have difficulty remembering you or certain events you feel are important.
Get Assistance from the Leading Home Care Providers in Phoenix, AZ
If you’re having trouble caring for a loved one who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, call (480) 999-3012 and talk to one of our staff at Devoted Guardians. We are one of Arizona’s largest home care providers and offer daily 24-hour living assistance, including nighttime watch and personal assistance.