Are you wondering if a recent event was a senior moment or Alzheimer’s? Is it simple forgetfulness or dementia? Is this normal aging or something more serious? Alzheimer’s is one of the most greatly feared diseases, and despite intensive ongoing research, there is still no cure or viable treatment. With age, there is a certain level of forgetfulness. So how can you tell if a loved one is experiencing common growing ‘old’ pains, or if it is something more?
What is Alzheimer’s? It is a progressive brain disease that damages patients’ memory and cognitive skills, ultimately leaving them unable to recognize friends and family or to care for themselves. Alzheimer’s is now the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S.
Every year more and more people are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. As baby boomers come of age, the number of people afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to reach 13.8 million by 2050. This is millions more than previously projected.
Forgetfulness as distinguished from Alzheimer’s
Forgetfulness is often a normal part of aging. Misplacing your reading glasses, forgetting names or having a lot of “senior moments” is nothing more than an annoyance for many aging adults. This is, unfortunately, not the case for everyone. If your or your loved one’s forgetfulness is compounded with such things as having difficulty completing everyday tasks, problem-solving, understanding spatial relationships or change in mood and behavior, then it may be a more serious form of memory impairment. If you suspect that you or someone you love is suffering from a form of dementia, contact your primary care physician for a screening. Medication is available to help with the symptoms and may slow the progression of the disease.
I searched a number of authoritative websites and publications for a list of things you should be concerned about. It’s cause for concern if you or a loved one:
Have difficulty learning new things
Have difficulty making change and handling money in general
Are forgetting things more often than you did last month or last year
Are forgetting how to do things you have been doing for years
Are repeating yourself over and over again
Have inability to remember what happens each day.
10 warning signs
The 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s:
- Severe memory loss.
- Difficulty doing familiar tasks.
- Problems talking or writing.
- Confusion about the time or place.
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Thanks for visiting Advocare. We help South Florida families everyday who are in the throws of dementia to receive the support and care they need. We also work with families to assess clients and to meet with doctors, to determine if something were just a senior moment or Alzheimer’s. Our Geriatric Care Managers help area residents in Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Miami and other surrounding areas.