November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

Alzheimer's Awareness Month

Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life
One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s is memory loss, especially forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates or events; asking for the same information over and over; increasingly needing to rely on memory aids (e.g., reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to handle on their own.
What’s a typical age-related change?
Sometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later.

2. Challenges in planning or solving problems
Some people may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. They may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. They may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did before.
What’s a typical age-related change?
Making occasional errors when balancing a checkbook.

3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure

People with Alzheimer’s often find it hard to complete daily tasks. Sometimes, people may have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work or remembering the rules of a favorite game.

What’s a typical age-related change?
Occasionally needing help to use the settings on a microwave or to record a television show.

4. Confusion with time or place
People with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. They may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there.
What’s a typical age-related change?
Getting confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later.

5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer’s. They may have difficulty reading, judging distance and determining color or contrast, which may cause problems with driving.

What’s a typical age-related change?
Vision changes related to cataracts.

6. New problems with words in speaking or writing
People with Alzheimer’s may have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves. They may struggle with vocabulary, have problems finding the right word or call things by the wrong name (e.g., calling a “watch” a “hand-clock”).

What’s a typical age-related change?
Sometimes having trouble finding the right word.

7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
A person with Alzheimer’s disease may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. Sometimes, they may accuse others of stealing. This may occur more frequently over time.

What’s a typical age-related change?
Misplacing things from time to time and retracing steps to find them.

8. Decreased or poor judgment
People with Alzheimer’s may experience changes in judgment or decision-making. For example, they may use poor judgment when dealing with money, giving large amounts to telemarketers. They may pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean.

What’s a typical age-related change?
Making a bad decision once in a while.

9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
A person with Alzheimer’s may start to remove themselves from hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports. They may have trouble keeping up with a favorite sports team or remembering how to complete a favorite hobby. They may also avoid being social because of the changes they have experienced.

What’s a typical age-related change?
Sometimes feeling weary of work, family and social obligations.

10. Changes in mood and personality
The mood and personalities of people with Alzheimer’s can change. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends or in places where they are out of their comfort zone.

What’s a typical age-related change?
Developing very specific ways of doing things and becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted.

Typical age-related memory loss and other changes compared to Alzheimer’s in a chart

Signs of Alzheimer’s Typical age-related changes
Poor judgment and decision making Making a bad decision once in a while
Inability to manage a budget Missing a monthly payment
Losing track of the date or the season Forgetting which day it is
Difficulty having a conversation Sometimes forgetting which word to use
Misplacing things and being unable to retrace steps to find them Losing things from time to time

With early detection, you can:

Get the maximum benefit from available treatments – You can explore treatments that may provide some relief of symptoms and help you maintain a level of independence longer. You may also increase your chances of participating in clinical drug trials that help advance research.

Have more time to plan for the future – A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s allows you to take part in decisions about care, transportation, living options, financial and legal matters. You can also participate in building the right care team and social support network.

Help for you and your loved ones – Care and support services are available, making it easier for you and your family to live the best life possible with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Check out this site: http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_10_signs_of_alzheimers.asp

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What is Alzheimer’s?

image005Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological disorder in which the death of brain cells causes memory loss and cognitive decline. A neurodegenerative type of dementia, the disease starts mild and gets progressively worse.

What Causes Alzheimer’s?

Like all types of dementia, Alzheimer’s is caused by brain cell death.It is a neurodegenerative disease, which means there is progressive brain cell death that happens over a course of time. The total brain size shrinks with Alzheimer’s – the tissue has progressively fewer nerve cells and connections.

How Common is Alzheimer’s Disease?

In 2010, some 4.7 million people of 65 years of age and older were living with Alzheimer’s disease in the US.

The 2013 statistical report from the Alzheimer’s Association gives a proportion of the population affected – just over a tenth of people in the over-65 age group have the disease in the US. In the over-85s, the proportion goes up to about a third.

Risk Factors:

  •       Age
  •       Family History
  •       Having a certain gene
  •       (E or APOE)
  •       Being Female (more females than males)

Types of Alzheimer’s:

  •       Dementia
  •       Vascular Dementia
  •       Metastatic

 

 

Books by Nicole M. Brown

The Adventures of Nurse Nicole: N is for Nurse

The Adventures of Nurse Nicole: N is for Nurse

The Adventures of Nurse Nicole: Wash Hands

The Adventures of Nurse Nicole: Wash Hands

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