Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia: Challenges for Caregivers


I learned about Alzheimer’s and dementia during my medical school education when I was in my mid-twenties. At that time I didn’t have an appreciation for how challenging it is to live with or be a caregiver for someone with either of these diseases.

After being in practice for 10 years and working with caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s disease I have a much better appreciation for progression of the disease.

Dementia is a group of brain disorders that cause a progressive loss of intellectual and social skills severe enough to interfere with daily activities. Alzheimers is the most common of the dementia disorders. It causes death to the cells of the brain.

According to the National Institute of Aging, Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually even the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.

Alzheimer’s disease can be difficult to diagnose because often it is challenging for loved ones or caregivers to distinguish between the mildest symptoms of Alzheimer’s and symptoms we often refer to as signs of old age.

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