Posted by: Patricia Hysong | November 13, 2015

National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

Alzheimer's

Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia and causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. It accounts for 60 to 80 percent of all dementia cases. It is not a “normal” part of aging and it worsens over time. Currently there is no cure but there are treatments for symptoms and continuing research in hopes of finding one.

10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s

1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life ~forgetting recently learned information, important dates or events, asking for the same information multiple times, increasingly relying on notes, electronic reminders or other memory aids
2. Challenges in planning or solving problems ~changes in ability to develop and follow a plan, work with numbers, follow recipes, paying monthly bills, difficulty concentrating, everyday tasks take longer than they used to
3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks ~daily tasks at home, work or when relaxing become hard to accomplish, trouble driving to routine places, managing household budgets, remembering things that have always been known
4. Confusion with time or place ~losing track of dates, seasons, or the passage of time, not understanding something if it’s not immediately happening, not knowing where one is or how one got there
5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships ~vision problems, difficulty reading, judging distance, and determining color
6. New problems with words in speaking or writing ~trouble following or joining a conversation, stopping in the middle of a conversation and not being able to continue or repeating what’s already been said, have difficulty finding the right word or calling things by the wrong name
7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps ~not placing items in their usual place, losing things and not being able to retrace steps to find the item again, accusing others of taking things they have misplaced
8. Decreased or poor judgement ~experience changes in judgement or decision making, using poor judgement in dealing with money, paying less attention to personal hygiene habits or caring for themselves
9. Withdrawal from work or social activities ~voluntarily removing themselves from hobbies, social activities, work projects, have problems remembering long-time favorite things like sports teams or hobbies
10. Changes in mood and personality ~mood and personality changes over time, becoming confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious, being easily upset in familiar places as well as places where they are out of their comfort zone for seemingly minor reasons

Alzheimer’s disease is confusing,  scary, and frustrating, for those suffering and for those who care for and love the one(s) suffering, to say the least. If there is any question about whether the memory loss is “normal”  for those getting older or whether it is something more, consult your healthcare professional, the earlier the better.

Information from the alzheimer’s association. Visit them for more information and ideas.

This information is provided courtesy of the Wyoming AgrAbility Project. For more information, visit our website.

 

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