More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. The sixth leading cause of death in the United States,
Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating diagnosis, but recent and emerging breakthroughs are getting us ever closer to a cure. The more you learn about the condition and stay informed about current research, the better the chances you or a loved one can work to slow its progress. The Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org) is a good place to start.
September is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and so today we’re reminding you about the ten signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Early diagnosis is essential for a high quality of life for as long as possible.
The Ten Signs of Alzheimer’s
1. Memory loss that causes disruptions in your day.
2. Finding that planning and solving problems has become more difficult.
3. Having trouble completing familiar daily tasks at home, work or play.
4. Losing track of dates, seasons, and the passage of time.
5. Having trouble with visual images and spatial relationships.
6. Developing problems with vocabulary in speaking or writing.
7. Losing things and finding you’re unable to retrace your steps.
8. Developing poor judgment and reduced decision-making skills.
9. Withdrawing from friends, families, hobbies, or work projects.
10. Becoming confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious when out of your comfort zone.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s, talk to your doctor to determine your next steps. Don’t put it off, since early detection is important.
Alzheimer’s is a difficult disease to face, and having plenty of support from loved ones and the community is crucial. At the same time, though, loved ones also need support and should join a support group for others in their situation. A support group gives loved ones a venue in which to cry, vent, celebrate, or get advice. It also gives them the opportunity to help others by sharing information, tips, and stories.
This month, make it a point to learn a little about Alzheimer’s and the recent breakthroughs in research that offer a glimmer of hope for the future.