September 21st is Alzheimer’s Action Day!
Time to go through your closet and find something PURPLE to wear; a great time to show your support to help raise awareness to end Alzheimer’s disease. Please, share your story to support a family member or someone you know with Alzheimer’s. Over 35 million people worldwide are affected by dementia. Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia with no current cure and always ends in death. It usually affects seniors over the age of 65.
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s often develop slowly over a number of years, but each person is different. Individuals who exhibit signs of Alzheimer’s should seek professional advice as soon as possible. Understanding the stages of the disease can help you plan ahead.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
- Loss of memory
- Trouble finding words
- General disorientation
- Difficulty making decisions and judgements
- Changes in behavior and personality
Stages of Alzheimer’s
- Early stage: loss of memory, trouble finding words, and difficulty making decisions or judgments
- Mild cognitive impairment stage (Alzheimer’s is often diagnosed at this stage): getting lost, trouble paying bills or handling money, frequently repeating questions, taking longer to complete normal daily tasks, often losing things or misplacing them in odd places, and mood and personality changes
- Moderate cognitive impairment stage: increased memory loss and confusion, problems recognizing family and friends, inability to learn new things, difficulty carrying out tasks that involve multiple tasks such as getting dressed, problems coping with new situations, delusions, and paranoia
- Severe stage: inability to communicate, weight loss, difficulty swallowing, increased sleeping, lack of control of bladder and bowels
Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s is physically, emotionally, and mentally demanding. The day-to-day care, changing of family roles, and decisions of placement in a care facility can be wearing to caregivers. It is imperative to educate yourself, to have a strong network of support, and to have practical strategies in place as quickly as possible.
There are many associations and organizations available to help you discover more about symptoms, types of care, and help in coping and dealing with Alzheimer’s:
- Alzheimer’s Association
- Alzheimer’s.gov – For the people helping people with Alzheimer’s
- National Institute on Aging – Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center
- Alzheimer’s Disease – Mayo Clinic
- Early Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
We would love to hear your story. Please share it in the comment section below.