Imagine that your elderly loved one suddenly becomes noticeably forgetful, struggles to complete a conversation, or even appears confused about what may be considered simple, everyday knowledge-their family members, the time, their location, even their own identity.
Before laughing it off, becoming annoyed, or even merely brushing the issue aside, thinking, "Poor Mom, old age is catching up to her…" Don't dismiss the possibility that it could be something more-it's important to recognize the signs of Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer's disease is a "progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks the brain's nerve cells, or neurons, resulting in loss of memory, thinking and language skills, and behavioral changes." It's the most common cause of dementia (loss of intellectual function) among people age 65 and older.
Alzheimer's disease is not a normal part of aging. It is difficult to distinguish between the first signs of Alzheimer's disease and typical age-related changes that your parent or other loved one may endure.
Unfortunately, a cure for Alzheimer's disease has not been found. However, executing preventative measures early on may help your loved one feel comfortable, safe, and at ease when living with Alzheimer's. The sooner the symptoms are recognized and the sooner an accurate diagnosis is made, the easier it is to manage symptoms and plan for the future. Ten early warning signs of
1. Memory changes that disrupt daily life
2. Challenges in planning or solving problems
3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks
4. Confusion with time or place
5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
6. New problems with words in speaking or writing
7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
8. Decreased or poor judgment
9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
10. Changes in mood and personality
Today, an estimated 5.4 million individuals are living with Alzheimer's-the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Organizations such as the Alzheimer's Association recognize the severity of Alzheimer's disease. The Association will host the "Walk to End Alzheimer's" event on Saturday, Oct. 13 at Cucamonga-Guasti-Regional Park in Ontario to gather the local community and raise Alzheimer's awareness.
SYNERGY HomeCare of Inland Empire SW recognizes the Alzheimer's Association's efforts to increase Alzheimer's awareness in our local community and will join the Association to help raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer's care, support and research. SYNERGY recognizes the negative effects of Alzheimer's on the elderly and their loved ones and participates in efforts to not only benefit its clients, but also benefit the community as a whole.
To minimize the impact of Alzheimer's disease on you, the family caregiver, as well as your parent and other family members, recognize the symptoms, get help and get informed. SYNERGY strives to alleviate the stresses and frustrations caused by this distressing disease. Don't try to deal with this alone, get help and support from a caregiver.
(Information derived from SynergyHomeCare, Alzheimer's Association of America and Alzheimer's Association)
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