November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

14 Nov 2018

President Ronald Reagan initially identified November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month in 1983 with a goal of raising awareness about the disease and as a call to action, of sorts, to encourage people to get involved in recognizing the condition and the care required to treat people who have it.

In 1983, there were fewer than two million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease. Today that number has nearly tripled, soaring to 5.7 million, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. As the population continues to age (and live longer) the number of Americans living with the condition will likely only increase.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease to Watch For

Anyone who has loved ones who are aging needs to be watchful of the following symptoms that could indicate Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Memory loss. This includes asking for the same information repeatedly and forgetting key dates and events.
  • Inability to retrace steps. Often most noticeable when it comes to frequently misplacing things. They may even begin to accuse people of stealing things or moving them because they can’t find them.
  • Difficulty with solving problems. Problem solving, even simple problem solving tasks, may take much longer for people beginning to experience Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Difficulty following instructions or directions. Even basic directions and instructions can become difficult for people with Alzheimer’s disease. They get easily confused and sometimes withdraw from loved ones in an attempt to hide their confusion.
  • Personality changes. We are the sum total of our memories. Experiences and memories of those experiences make us who we are. As people begin to forget things, you may notice changes in mood, personality, and even the way they speak to those around them.

While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there are things you can do to help loved ones who are experiencing it. Some treatments, such as BAN2401, have even shown promise, when introduced strategically, slowing the progression of the disease.

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can be mentally and emotionally taxing.  These tips will help to reduce some of the stress involved in caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Work with medical professionals to determine the best treatment.
  • Invest in GPS personal tracking. In early stages it can help loved ones maintain independence longer. At later stages it can help you find loved ones who are prone to wandering.
  • Schedule activities consistently and wisely.
  • Plan time for yourself and to meet your needs, too.

As awareness grows about Alzheimer’s and the devastating effects it has on memory, there is hope that treatments will advance that allow people to hold on to memory and independent even longer after Alzheimer’s strike.

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