Most only recognize Alzheimer’s disease as affecting the brain, but not the physical effects on the body. The brain cells that are damaged due to Alzheimer’s affects the rest of the body. As Alzheimer’s progresses physical symptoms increase.
What Are Alzheimer’s Effects on the Body?
Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s has a negative impact on general health and well being. It can alter the way someone looks, moves, and functions. The following symptoms can be:
One of the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s is a change in the way someone walks. Movements are controlled by muscles that are sent signals by the brain. Damage to the brain cells cause these changes in movement.
Signs that can be seen are shorter steps and drifting to the side as they move. Changes like these can come before any other symptoms are apparent. Overtime movements can become even more impaired, such as shuffling, walking slowly, and dragging feet.
Loss of Coordination
Awareness of one’s space can be affected by brain changes. Difficulty in judging distances, can make it more challenging for avoiding tripping over furniture or safely managing the stairs. Balance and coordination are altered causing problems with balance and coordination, creating a higher chance of falls.
Muscular problems, such as shaking and muscle stiffness, can occur with Alzheimer’s. Rigid muscles make it difficult to move and even tremors can happen. End stages of the disease can have muscle tightness that lead to contracted and wasted muscles.
Problems Maintaining Weight
Maintaining a healthy diet can be challenging due to decreased appetite and problems with chewing and swallowing. All of these factors can lead to weight loss, especially in the advanced stages of the disease.
Insufficient nutrition along with immobility can create constipation, in combination with the bowel muscles’ natural weakening. Poor constipation can lead to abdominal pain as well. Bowel control is lost in the end-stages of Alzheimer’s and incontinence is prevalent.
In elderly with dementia, urinary infections are more prevalent. The issue can be exacerbated by dehydration and lack of mobility to make it to the restroom. An infection may cause confusion, incontinence, and abdominal pain. Bladder control is lost in advanced Alzheimer’s leading to issues with incontinence.
In the disease’s late phases, you may lose the instinctive ability to chew and swallow. Breathing and swallowing involve complicated coordination. Food or liquids can be inhaled into the lungs, resulting in possibly hazardous aspiration pneumonia.
Entrust of DeSoto: A Resident-centric Memory Care Community in Dallas, Texas
Entrust of DeSoto is a memory care community that puts resident well-being at the center of everything we do. We know that each person is unique. That’s why we offer a wide range of services and lifestyle options to nourish the body and create community.
We understand the importance of home cooked meals and nutrition for seniors and this attitude is reflected in our dining experience. If you or a loved one live near Dallas, Texas and need assisted living, contact Entrust of DeSoto today to learn about our 24-hour care and find out how we can help.