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3b. Change to psychosocial Behavior
There are several models for the classification of the development of Alzheimer’s. The easiest method is divided into 3stages..
Stage 1
At the beginning of the disease, Alzheimer’s patients are usually weak, have little energy and lose their spontaneity. Those affected, as well as those around them, do not usually recognize these symptoms as abnormal.
Patients begin to show slight loss of memory, difficulty concentrating and mood swings. In addition, learning and reacting to specific situations becomes more difficult. After a while, they begin to recoil from new things and favor what they know and trust. Patients are confused, forget quickly and often misjudge situations. Loss of memory begins to affect their work, everyday life and, above all, their social life (Bib. 1).

Symptoms during the first stages are – in short – difficulty concentrating as well as a withdrawal from social life. Patients feel powerless and require more effort to follow discussions

Stage 2
In this stage, Alzheimer’s patients can still perform easier tasks alone, but often require help coping with complex challenges.  While the ability to speaking and comprehend slow down, at the same time, an urge to move physically increases.
Patients often forget what they want to say in the middle of a sentence. In addition, patients can also get lost in familiar areas (for example, on the way home) or forget to pay bills. The feeling of losing control irritates many patients and causes them to become restless and depressed. Those affected continue to lose their personalities. While short-term memory becomes weaker, patients often remember quite intensely emotional events from the distant past.
People who suffer from an advanced stage of Alzheimer’s disease frequently do not know where they are and sometimes cannot register the most basic perceptions. Sometimes they no longer recognize their own relatives. Caretakers have to give clear and easy instructions and often have to repeat them. It is also very important that they speak slowly and clearly (Bib. 1).
Alzheimer’s disease is linked to the onset of incontinence, as well as difficulties with recognition and orientation. The attention span becomes shorter and the short-term memory becomes worse. Furthermore, patients frequently act out their feelings in an unusually intense way.
Stage 3
In the last stage of the disease, patients are dependent on caretakers and more intensive care. Problems arise with basic bodily functions (e.g. swallowing, chewing, breathing). Patients are often bedridden, which can cause pneumonia, infections and other diseases (Bib. 1).
The last stage is characterized by a marked loss of speech and often a complete mental breakdown, in addition to a strong sensitivity to irritation and pain. In this stage, patients regress back to childhood fears and needs.
Although Alzheimer’s disease itself is not fatal, patients usually die from adventitious diseases.
The Behavior of an Alzheimer’s Patient:
For the most part, patients refuse to believe that they have Alzheimer’s disease and live in denial. As the disease progresses, they become increasingly unwilling to be helped by other people, relatives or caretakers. Patients often feel misunderstood, and at the same time, live in a state of anxiety, because they don’t know exactly what is happening to them. When overtaxed, patients can frequently become aggressive. They increasingly lose their ability to orient themselves in everyday life.
As long as circumstances allow, it is beneficial to care for Alzheimer’s patients in a familiar and safe environment.
Interacting with an Alzheimer’s Patient:
Interacting with Alzheimer’s patients requires a lot of time, respect and a huge amount of patience. It is important to show sympathy for patients from the beginning of the first stage of the disease, as many patients still try to cover it up and deny that they have it.
There are many things to be aware of when appropriately dealing with a person with Alzheimer’s: It is important to be sure to speak to patients very slowly and clearly. “Why?” questions often overwhelm them and cause them to act aggressively. However, animals and music tend to make patients happy and relaxed; they also respond well to fragrant salves (even in the advanced stages of the disease). Additionally, it is important that patients exercise regularly, as well as maintain close contact with people familiar to them.
In summary, let it be said that dealing with Alzheimer’s patients is a very demanding task, and it is admirable when relatives fully devote themselves to caring for their grandmother or grandfather. While love and respect certainly make up the basis for a successful care, it is also important for relatives to understandwhat the disease is doing to the patients “behind the scenes” in order to adequately and effectively assist them.
Lit.1 : www. deutsche - alzheimer . de