Just recently, President Biden declared that November would be known as Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. The disease is tough on not just those who have it, but the families and loved ones who are by their side.
While there has been progress in educating the ones who work with the vulnerable groups about early warning signs, how to give and show support in many ways, and improvements in treatments, there is still much to learn.
According to the CDC, as adult children are watching their parents age, there are several warning signs to look for.
- Memory loss affecting daily life activities such as forgetting appointments or events, or even forgetting to take medicine on time and as directed
- Challenges in problem-solving or planning
- Difficulty completing tasks that were once familiar
- Confusion with time, days, or place
- Lack of coordination, balance, or judging distance
- Changes in mood or personality such as easily getting upset
- Poor judgment including lacking the ability for self-hygiene, money management
- Misplacing items
- Withdrawing from normal social activities or work
- New or worsening problems with writing or speaking such as forgetting familiar words for items or being unable to find the right word
These are not considered “normal” for our aging population. Most times, the person will see the common warning signs before anyone else does. Other times, the family will notice small changes getting worse over time.
It can put caregivers in a difficult situation. What is the first step? How can we plan to ensure they are safe for themselves and others?
If you see any of the signs above, encourage them to make an appointment with their doctor. Early intervention can help with seeking the correct treatment and ensuring they have a safe future and a plan for the family.