The 5 A’s of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease that affects memory, thinking and behavior. It is a form of dementia with symptoms that grow in severity over time. The risk of Alzheimer’s disease increases with age and is most common in people over the age of 65 years old.
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are commonly referred to as the 5 A’s of Alzheimer’s which include Amnesia, Apraxia, Agnosia, Aphasia, and Anomia.
Amnesia is often the most recognized symptom, which refers to memory loss. People who are living with Alzheimer’s can experience a lot of difficulty recalling information and experiences that have happened in their lifetime. This can also affect their ability to retain new information such as instructions. Amnesia can be as simple as forgetting an appointment or as severe as difficulty remembering a loved one.
Speaking with your loved one or client with short, simple sentences at a slower pace can help them process and understand new information.
Apraxia refers to a loss in voluntary motor skills. This affects the ability to perform purposeful movements or familiar tasks such as cooking, shaving, or walking. A person living with Alzheimer’s disease can forget how to do daily living activities.
These changes can increase the risk of falls. Keeping active can possibly delay the physical changes in apraxia.
Agnosia is the inability to recognize faces, objects, voices, or places. Those living with Alzheimer’s disease can not only lose the ability to recognize the object, but they may also forget its use.
Using gestures to identify objects, labels, and context clues can aid in communicating with those who are affected.
Aphasia refers to impaired communication through speech. When expressing thoughts through speech, the affected person’s speech may seem jumbled. They can also experience problems understanding what is being said.
Allow your client or loved one the chance to respond even if it seems to be taking much longer than usual. Simplifying communication with straightforward language and clear choices can help the affected person understand and communicate easier.
Anomia is the loss of ability to identify names of everyday objects. The person may know what an item is and its use but cannot figure out the correct word or term.
It’s important to remember that it will take longer for someone experiencing anomia and other symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease to be able to verbalize their thoughts.
An estimated 6.5 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer's in 2022. Alzheimer’s disease progresses with time, and it can be hard to remember each step in caring for a loved one or client who is affected.
With each A of Alzheimer’s, patience is key. At Senior Helpers, our caregivers are expertly trained to support your loved one’s unique needs as they change over time. Our Senior Gems® program is used to help caregivers assess and provide care for Seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Contact us to learn more.
Everyone is affected by Alzheimer’s disease differently. It is important to seek the advice of a medical professional to provide the right health information that relates to you or your loved one's individual medical condition(s).