Losing the TV remote. Forgetting the name of a person you’re sure you’ve been introduced to before. Mistaking today’s date with tomorrow’s. Can these possibly be indicators of Alzheimer’s disease?
Given that June is recognized as Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, our Topeka caregivers and Alzheimer’s care professionals wanted to help you distinguish between some of the typical attributes of growing older, for example minor lapse of memory, and those that may indicate the chance of Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia.
First, it’s important to remember that Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of growing older. It is a disease that progressively triggers cognitive decline, affecting reasoning and judgment, thinking and memory. Its hallmark symptoms could include any or all of the following, in differing levels of intensity:
- General Sense of Confusion. More than not remembering momentarily what day it is (but then realizing the correct date on your own), seniors with Alzheimer’s might have difficulty with the concept of time and place other than what’s happening in the present moment. They may possibly also confuse commonly used words and phrases; for example, unable to think of the word “sofa,” they may instead refer to it as a “seat bench.”
- Short-Term Memory Loss. Though we all forget an appointment or a person’s name at times, the memory loss in Alzheimer’s is often focused mostly on short-term memories, with long-term memories staying intact into the more advanced stages of the disease. One leading warning sign is repetition of speech – telling the same story again and again.
- Changes in Personality. An older person who has, for the most part, been cheerful and pleasant throughout his/her life might start to become depressed, distrustful, and fearful, particularly when in unfamiliar settings or situations.
- Difficulties with Routine Tasks. When a person has taken pleasure in playing a certain card game for many years and all of a sudden is no longer able to remember how to play, is unsure how to operate a once-familiar vacuum cleaner or washing machine, or can no longer follow the directions to prepare a favorite recipe, Alzheimer’s may be at play.
When warning signs of Alzheimer’s are suspected, it’s vital that an appointment be made with the senior’s physician for further testing and to determine the best plan of treatment.
If an Alzheimer’s diagnosis is identified, Grace Home Care’s Topeka home care team can help. Our specially trained dementia caregivers are on hand with expert, compassionate care to assist with managing the more challenging aspects of the disease, working with families to provide much-needed respite care. We help make sure that those with Alzheimer’s are safe and enjoying the highest possible quality of care at all times.
Grace Home Care’s Topeka caregivers provide a vide array of elderly care and respite care Topeka families need. Whether you need assistance with developing customized activities to enhance quality of life, or assistance with some of the more task-oriented facets of care, such as meal preparation, housework, laundry, and errand-running, allowing you to spend more quality time with your loved one, you can count on Grace Home Care. Call us any time at 785.286.CARE to learn more.