Misplacing the keys to your car. Forgetting the name of someone you know you’ve met before. Mistakenly thinking it’s Wednesday when it’s Tuesday. Might these be red flags of Alzheimer’s disease?
Because June is recognized as Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, we at Live Free Home Health Care, the Alzheimer’s care professionals in New Hampshire, wanted to help you differentiate between some of the typical characteristics of the aging process, for example minor forgetfulness, and others that might indicate the potential of Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia.
First and foremost, it’s important to remember that Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal aspect of aging. It’s a disease that progressively leads to cognitive decline, impacting reasoning and judgment, memory and thinking. Its trademark indicators can entail any or all of the following, in variable degrees of intensiveness:
- General Sense of Disorientation. More than not remembering momentarily what day it is (but soon remembering the correct date on your own), seniors with Alzheimer’s disease might struggle with the concept of time and place besides what’s taking place in the current moment. They may possibly also confuse frequently used words and phrases; for instance, unable to come up with the word “toothbrush,” they might instead refer to it as a “mouth thing.”
- Short-Term Memory Loss. Although we all forget a medical 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 continuing to be unimpaired into the more advanced stages of the disease. One key warning sign is repeating speech – retelling the same story over and over again.
- Changes in Personality. An older adult who has, for the most part, been upbeat and pleasant throughout his or her life might start to be despondent, wary, and apprehensive, especially when in unfamiliar settings or situations.
- Difficulties with Routine Tasks. When someone has enjoyed a particular board game for years and suddenly is no longer able to remember the rules, is unsure how to operate a once-familiar washing machine or dishwasher, or can no longer follow the directions to make a favorite meal, Alzheimer’s may be at play.
When indicators of Alzheimer’s are suspected, it’s crucial that an appointment be made with the senior’s physician for further testing and to decide upon the best plan of care.
If an Alzheimer’s diagnosis is identified, Live Free Home Health Care can help. Our professionally trained dementia caregivers are on hand with expert, compassionate care to provide support with managing the more difficult aspects of the disease, partnering with families to provide much-needed respite care. We help ensure that older adults with Alzheimer’s are safe and experiencing the highest possible quality of care at all times.
Whether you require support with implementing personalized activities to enhance quality of life, or assistance with some of the more task-oriented elements of care, such as meal preparation, household chores, laundry, and errand-running, allowing you to spend more quality time with your loved one, you can count on Live Free Home Health Care. Contact us any time at 603-217-0149 to learn more.