Alzheimer’s disease is a very real and quickly growing problem among the elderly segment of our population. There’s no cure for this type of dementia, but more is understood about it every day. Doctors and researchers have learned ways to help prevent it and slow down its growth, but it is still a terminal illness. The best way to help your elderly loved one is to guide them toward practices that will help prevent it, but you should also be aware of the signs and symptoms of the disease so that if they do develop it, you can get them the care that they need as soon as possible.
Here are a few of the more obvious warning signs of the disease.
Forgetfulness. Misplacing items, starting a sentence and forgetting what was being said, and short term memory problems are all symptoms of Alzheimer’s. A little bit of memory loss is normal as we age, but if it seems like the problem is too much, too soon, getting checked out by a doctor is your best bet in order to help with the disease as quickly as possible is prudent. Simple exercises like word puzzles, memory games, and similar activities can all be used to keep minds sharp and active if you are serious about trying to ward off this problem for as long as possible.
Confusion. If you are speaking with a loved one about something that should be familiar to them and they are having difficulty, this type of confusion can be a symptom of Alzheimer’s. This is often paired with frustration as it is extremely disconcerting to not know what is going on, or how you ended up in a room, or realizing that the person you are speaking with knows you, but you can’t seem to remember them. Having this confusion is frustrating, and it manifests itself in a number of different ways.
Physical Limitations. Alzheimer’s is certainly a cognitive disease, but it also affects other things that the brain controls besides thoughts, including the way that bodies function. Walking can become very difficult, and simple things, like moving an arm, can become extremely laborious and overly complicated. This may come on suddenly for some people, while others will see it happen more gradually as the disease progresses.
If you suspect that a loved one has Alzheimer’s, get them under the care of a medical professional as soon as possible. This is the only way to keep your loved one as safe as possible for as long as possible. Enlisting the care of a professional caregiver with experience treating dementia is also going to be helpful for your entire family. With a team of senior care professionals on your side, you can take something traumatic like the onset of Alzheimer’s and make it into as positive as a situation as possible. Watching your loved one go through this is tough to say the least, but once it’s a reality, you need to do your best to give them the best outcome possible.