Spotting The Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease May Lead to Better Treatment Outcomes
Alzheimer’s disease is an insidious illness. It can take a once brilliant mind and turn it into a virtual shell of what it had been. Unfortunately, it is a cruel fate for many. Characterized by memory loss, cognitive decline, and other symptoms, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and accounts for 60-80% of diagnosed cases. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 5.8 million Americans age 65 and older were living with the disease in 2020. Eighty percent of these were age 75 and older.
Alzheimer’s disease often turns a person into a practical stranger among friends and loved ones, while those living with the illness may feel like a stranger within their own bodies, as well. Knowing this, it is crucial that close friends and loved ones pay careful attention to a person who may be showing the signs of Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia. If you have a family member who has been diagnosed in earlier stages of the disease, it may be important to seek supportive, non-medical in-home (or in-facility) care. Located in Louisville, ElderCare 4 Families is ready to help you and your family navigate what services may support you and your loved one in their own journey.
For most people, it may be difficult to distinguish between normal, age-associated memory loss, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. It is important to note that dementia and Alzheimer’s are not normal parts of the aging process. An early diagnosis can mean sooner access to available treatments, and thus potentially better outcomes for the patient.
There are 10 common warning signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. If you notice any of them in yourself or a loved one, please don’t ignore them – contact your physician.
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life
- Challenges in planning or solving problems
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks
- Confusion with time or place
- Trouble understanding spatial relationships and visual images
- New problems with words in speaking or writing
- Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
- Decreased or poor judgement
- Withdrawal from work or social activities
- Changes in mood or personality
At ElderCare 4 Families, we know determining whether a loved one has Alzheimer’s or dementia can be an overwhelming issue to consider. You may be scared or not know where to turn. You don’t need to do it alone. The first step should be a call to your doctor for an initial discussion and evaluation. They then may refer you or your loved one to a specialist for further evaluation and discussion of treatment options.
The Alzheimer’s Association offers a wealth of easy-to-understand information that can guide you in learning more about normal aging, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Their website also offers a 24-hour live chat and toll-free hotline for any questions or worries you might have. There is a great deal of helpful information on the Alzheimer’s Association website, including information on the importance of early diagnosis. This printable worksheet also may be helpful in tracking signs and symptoms of the disease, should you suspect dementia or Alzheimer’s.
The team at ElderCare 4 Families understands that for most seniors, staying at home is a main goal throughout the aging process. This can be possible with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, as well. When outside assistance with day-to-day tasks becomes necessary for a safe and fulfilling life at home, consider ElderCare 4 Families in Louisville and Southern Indiana. Our care plans include a variety of caregiver services and may be arranged for all types of short-term or long-term care.