Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. The signs of Alzheimer’s usually develop slowly, get progressively worse over time and ultimately have a huge impact on an individual’s life. Symptoms include forgetfulness, confusion, difficulty organizing thoughts and concentrating, memory loss, misplacing items, disorientation and getting lost, trouble with making decisions, declining ability to speak, read and write, changes to personality, isolation, depression, anxiety, and mood swings. Alzheimer’s usually occurs in people over the age 60 and the risk increases with age. Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, there are strategies and medications that can help to slow the disease. A variety of non-medical therapies can be a useful part of an Alzheimer's treatment plan. For example, music therapy, art therapy, and pet therapy can sometimes help someone with Alzheimer’s deal with the anxiety, stress, or depression that sometimes accompanies the disease. Family members of individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s can also benefit from therapy, which will help them develop healthy and supportive ways of coping.

Local experts in Alzheimers

Joan Laguzza, LCSW Joie PDX Counseling

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

For over five years, I have worked with older adults having memory loss in mental health and medical settings. I help older adults maintain their independence, mediate with family, coordinate care with medical professionals, and help maintain a sense of balance in the setting of loss of power, control, and privacy. I am successful in moderating unwanted behaviors and implementing coping skills.

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