More than five million Americans have some level of Alzheimer’s disease and while the patient certainly is affected gravely, the reach of this debilitating disease extends to family and friends. While there is no cure, there are some treatments available, and early diagnosis is essential for the effectiveness of these treatments.
Often, we associate any type of memory lapse or forgetfulness as a sign of Alzheimer’s or dementia, but the early signs of the disease are beyond misplacing keys or forgetting to put something away. Here are a few early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
Obviously, we all forget things from time to time, but a person with Alzheimer’s will experience more profound memory loss. For instance, while it’s easy to occasionally forget a birthday or a doctor’s appointment, a person with Alzheimer’s will very frequently forget about important dates and events. They will forget information that they have just acquired and ask again and again for the same information.
Another common sign is becoming confused in regards to time and place. We all sometimes forget the date or the day of the week, but with Alzheimer’s, a person might be confused about what year it is or perhaps believe that it is a different year or that people who have died are still alive.
People with Alzheimer’s disease often find it increasingly difficult to take care of their physical needs. If you notice your parent has begun paying less attention to cleanliness and grooming, this could be a sign of some type of dementia. Often people with Alzheimer’s also will withdraw from friends, family members and even their favorite activities. This could be due to Alzheimer’s disease or depression, which is also common in older adults. Either way, these symptoms should not be ignored.
Personality changes also can be an indicator. You might see that your parent or spouse is becoming increasingly anxious and fearful or even angry and suspicious. Again, this can be due to depression, but distinct changes in personality are quite common with all types of dementia.
While Alzheimer’s is very frightening, the sooner you obtain a diagnosis, the more control you will have over your future. You will be able to plan for care, handle your financial issues and make other important decisions. In addition, you might benefit from treatment, which can slow down the progression of the disease.
At some point, eldercare might be your best option. There are many assisted living facilities and board and care facilities that specialize in memory care. At Care Placement, we can find an assisted living facility that suits your memory care needs as well as your budget.
We specialize in finding facilities for assisted living in La Mesa, assisted living in Carlsbad, assisted living in Del Mar, assisted living in Encinitas and throughout San Diego County. We also can match you to board and care facilities, if that is what you would prefer.