Five million Americans suffer from Alzheimers Disease, which is currently the seventh leading cause of death. Often, it is difficult to diagnose early onset Alzheimers because the signs of Alzheimers mimic normal aging.
As we get older, we naturally will forget a few specific names, places or details.
Well misplace our keys or walk into a room and forget what we came to accomplish. However, there are some key warning signs that may hint at an Alzheimers diagnosis.
Sometimes, it may be difficult to tell Alzheimers Disease from the normal symptoms of aging.
The Alzheimers Association says there are ten warning signs of Alzheimers to look out for.
While it is normal to occasionally forget names or appointments, it is not normal to forget these things constantly or instantly forget recently learned information. Its normal to forget why you came into the room or what you were about to say, but its abnormal to forget how to cook a meal, make a phone call or perform another basic daily task.
Its normal to have difficulty finding the right word, but the Alzheimers patient may substitute random weird words or use convoluted speech that is difficult to understand. Its normal to forget the day of the week or where you were going, but you may have the disease if you forget where your house is while walking in your own neighborhood.
Its normal to make poor decisions from time to time, but if youre wearing the same clothes everyday, forgetting to shower or giving away large sums of money to telemarketers, then you may have dementia. Balancing your checkbook and growing weary of chores are normal, but its abnormal to forget what numbers are for or become totally lethargic.
Misplacing wallets and keys are normal, but Alzheimers patients frequently put objects in weird places - like the keys in a sugar bowl or paper in the fridge.
Its normal to feel sad and moody or experience a slight personality change, but its abnormal to exhibit rapid mood swings and become extremely fearful or confused for seemingly no rational reason at all.
The moderate stages of Alzheimers involve sufferers wandering off, enduring mood swings, forgetting manners, changing behavior, having trouble accomplishing basic tasks, repeating stories and forgetting names. The worst-case scenarios involve Alzheimers patients forgetting who family members are, speaking in gibberish, refusing to eat, being unable to control bowel or motor functions, groaning or screaming, forgetting how to walk, tearing easily or needing total assistance for daily life.
There are many places to turn for Alzheimers help. Attending an Alzheimers support group can work wonders for the caregivers, who are probably feeling mixed emotions of helplessness, depression, anxiety, impatience, resentment, fear and frustration.
For the Alzheimers Disease sufferer, minimizing clutter and confusion around the house is a good start.
A long term care facility may be eventually be needed but unconditional love and support can go a long way.
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