June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.
Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking, and reasoning skills. Currently, worldwide, 50 million people are living with Alzheimer’s and other related dementias.
As more people face a future with this disease, it is important that we focus on early diagnosis. The earlier the detection, the earlier you can take advantage of the various treatment opportunities and support services available to live a quality life.
There are 10 early warning signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s. If you notice any of these in your loved one, it may be time to seek additional care.
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life is one of the most common early warning signs of Alzheimer’s. As we age, we can become forgetful – that alone does not mean Alzheimer’s. But memory loss related to recently learned information, as well as asking the same questions over and over could be an early sign.
- Daily situations dealing with numbers or solving problems become difficult. Things like balancing a checkbook, following a recipe, or keeping track of monthly bills may become frustrating to complete.
- People with Alzheimer’s often find it hard to complete simple daily tasks like driving to a familiar location, remembering the rules of a favorite game or organizing their day.
- Conversations become difficult. Finding the right words or needing more time to stop and gather thoughts when in conversations with others may be an initial sign of Alzheimer’s.
- Losing track of dates, seasons and the passing of time, or getting confused about where they are or how they got there become more common.
- Vision problems such as having trouble understanding visual images, judging distancing, and determining color or contrast is an early sign of Alzheimer’s.
- Difficulty in speaking or writing. Struggling with vocabulary, having trouble naming an object or use the wrong name for something could be a red flag.
- Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps to find them again becomes difficult.
- Experiencing changes in judgment or poor decision-making is a concern, especially when it comes to dealing with money, personal hygiene, etc.
- Mood and personality changes are also a sign. Someone living with Alzheimer’s may become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious.
If you or a loved one is experiencing one or more these symptoms, make an appointment to discuss concerns with your doctor. Early detection matters. What you may be experiencing could be early signs of Alzheimer’s, or something else. It is important to act and figure out what is going on as soon as possible.
Learn more and request additional information about our Dementia Care Program.
FirstLight HomeCare is proud to CHAMPION the family caregiver, offering empathy, advice, and support for those who provide countless hours of care to their loved ones living with Alzheimer’s. We want to provide a helping hand, relieve some of the stress that comes with caregiving and give you back a few hours in your overwhelmingly busy day.
Alzheimer’s Association: www.alz.org
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov