Alzheimer’s is a devastating diagnosis for the person and their family and friends. One of the best ways to handle this disease is early diagnosis and treatment. Many people deny it is happening to them or a loved one. New treatments and medications have slowed the progression of the disease when caught in time. Here are some of the warning signs:
* Difficulty with simple problem solving, especially where numbers and/or measurements are concerned. (When grandmom has difficulty making her favorite recipes, balancing a checkbook or forgetting to pay bills.)
* Forgetting new information after repeated reinforcement.
* Losing a sense of time, month, year or season (What year is it?).
* Becoming disoriented and/or anxious in a familiar place.
* Inability to engage in a conversation, confusion of thoughts and words while speaking.
* Frequently misplacing things, in unusual places.
* Withdrawing from social activities which were a normal part of daily life, (shopping, sports, church, etc.)
* Becoming anxious, depressed, fearful, suspicious of family and friends.
* Confusing children with their parents or grandparents.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ALZHEIMER’S AND TYPICAL AGE-RELATED CHANGES?
|Signs of Alzheimer’s/Dementia||Typical Age-Related Changes|
|Poor judgment and decision-making||Making a bad decision once in a while|
|Inability to manage a budget||Missing a monthly payment|
|Losing track of the date or the season||Forgetting which day it is and remembering it later|
|Difficulty having a conversation||Sometimes forgetting which word to use|
|Misplacing things and being unable to retrace steps to find them||Losing things from time to time|
When faced with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis it is important to get finances and healthcare decisions made while the individual is still able. Assess the safety of the individual and make modifications to prevent harm to the individuals and others. (cooking, driving etc.) Support for the family and caregivers is necessary to prevent burn out.
For more information about Alzheimer’s Disease or any other health concern, contact VITALity Catholic Healthcare Services at 1-888-26-VITALity, (1-888-268-4825).