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Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month: Knowing the Signs

Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month: Knowing the Signs

Common Alzheimer’s and Dementia Symptoms to Look Out For

June is Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. We believe it’s crucial to educate our community about the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s to promote early detection and provide support for those affected.

Diagnosing Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that primarily affects memory, thinking, and behavior. It is the most common cause of dementia among older adults, typically starting slowly and worsening over time. Early detection of Alzheimer’s offers several benefits, including the following and more:

  • Medical Intervention: Early diagnosis allows for potential treatments that might slow the disease’s progress.
  • Planning for the Future: It offers individuals and their families time to plan for care, in addition to legal, financial, and living arrangements.
  • Access to Resources: Those diagnosed early can access support services, education, and resources to manage the disease effectively.

Recognizing the early signs of Alzheimer’s can lead to timely intervention and better management of the disease. Some of the key symptoms to look out for include:

Memory Loss that Disrupts Daily Life

One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s is forgetting recently learned information. This may include misremembering important dates or events, asking for the same information repeatedly, and increasingly relying on memory aids.

Challenges in Planning or Solving Problems

People with Alzheimer’s may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. For example, they may have trouble keeping track of monthly bills or following a familiar recipe.

Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks

Those affected might find it hard to complete daily tasks, such as driving to a known location, managing a budget, or remembering the rules of a favorite game. They might also begin a project with memory of the instructions and soon forget.

Confusion with Time or Place

Individuals with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons, and the passage of time. They may forget where they are or how they got there.

Trouble Understanding Visual Images and Spatial Relationships

For some people, vision problems are a sign of Alzheimer’s. This can lead to difficulty reading, judging distance, and determining color or contrast, which can cause problems with driving and other activities of daily living.

New Problems with Words in Speaking or Writing

Those with Alzheimer’s may struggle with vocabulary, have trouble finding the right word, or call certain items or people by the wrong name. They might also have difficulty following or joining in on a conversation.

Misplacing Things and Losing the Ability to Retrace Steps

A person with Alzheimer’s may put items in unusual places, lose personal belongings, and be unable to trace back their steps to find said item again. It is also common for individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s to accuse others of stealing misplaced items.

Decreased or Poor Judgment

Individuals may experience changes in judgment or decision-making. They might use poor judgment when dealing with money or pay less attention to grooming and personal hygiene.

Withdrawal from Work or Social Activities

A person with Alzheimer’s might start to remove themselves from hobbies, social activities, or projects at work. They may also have trouble keeping up with or remembering how to complete a certain hobby or project.

Changes in Mood and Personality

Those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful, or anxious within a short window of time. They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends, or in places where they are out of their comfort zone.

How Henry County Hospital Can Help with Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Join us this June in spreading awareness about Alzheimer’s and supporting those affected by the disease. Together, we can make a difference in our community.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our providers, please contact us at (419) 592-4015.