The number of people with Alzheimer’s, the type of dementia that causes memory problems, will affect 160,000 Costa Ricans in 2050, according to data from Alzheimer Disease International (ADI).
To provide adequate treatment to those who suffer from it, Dr. Rigoberto López, academic coordinator of the School of Medicine and Surgery of the Universidad Latina, explained that the most important thing is to recognize that the person has the disease.
“Detecting the condition will make it possible to set the guidelines for medical treatment and neuro-cognitive rehabilitation necessary for each patient, so that the maximum process can be delayed and the patient’s independence preserved for a longer time,” said López.
Signs of the disease
On World Alzheimer’s Day, the expert recalled that there are symptoms in people who are beginning to suffer from the disease and that they can be determined by those around them. For example, the difficulty to remember events that denotes a progressive deterioration of memory; trouble completing certain tasks at home or at work.
Other signals are:
– There is a lack of planning and execution in solving daily problems.
– The person becomes unable to understand distances when driving and begins to place objects in the wrong places.
– Forgetting words or not finding a suitable vocabulary when speaking or writing.
– Constant unexplained mood swings that can lead to depression and even loss of social and work life.
– Confusion with places or the passage of time.
– Care to be taken
López also covered the care that should be taken with people who suffer from this condition, such as: ensuring that they perform systematic exercises according to the physical characteristics of the patient, that they do the activities they can by themselves and that they maintain a healthy nutrition that includes fruits, vegetables and whole grain products.
“With regard to food, if the person lives alone, relatives or friends can call to remind them of the meal schedule, as well as provide them with food that is easy to cook,” advised the academic coordinator.
He pointed out that it is important for the person with Alzheimer’s to have an identification bracelet with their phone number and address, in case the person is walking alone. The expert stated that once the disease is determined, the presence of a caregiver is essential at all stages.