Alzheimer’s Disease touches all of us. It is an insidious disease that is often as hard on the family and caretakers as it is on the victims. It can even cause anxiety for those of us who have a simple memory misfire in the course of the day. A bout of confusion can cause us to worry if we are experiencing signs of something more serious. Knowing the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease can help alleviate fears and keep us proactive in detecting the disease should it be in its early stages.
In my law practice, I am committed to promoting awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease, especially because early detection aids with improved care and quality of life for those with the disease and also for their caregivers. Early detection also opens the door for exploration of treatments that may provide relief, increase chances of eligibility for clinical drug trials and maintain independence for a longer period of time. Medical technology is moving forward very fast with this disease and I, for one, don’t want to be living in denial when there is something available that will either slow the disease’s progress or eliminate it from my life or family.
This list of the common signs of the disease published by the Alzheimer’s Early Detection Alliance (AEDA) (http://www.alz.org/aeda/aeda.asp) will help you determine whether you or your loved ones are at risk.
10 Common Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease:
1) Memory changes that disrupt daily life.
2) Challenges in planning or solving problems.
3) Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure.
4) Confusion with time or place.
5) Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.
6) New problems with words in speaking or writing.
7) Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.
8) Decreased or poor judgment.
9) Withdrawal from work or social activities.
10) Changes in mood and personality.
Additional resources for information on Alzheimer’s include The Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org), Alzheimer’s Disease Research (http://www.ahaf.org/alzheimers/) and the National Institute on Aging (http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers). Also, the American Society on Aging provides free online webinars at: http://asaging.org/healthy-longevity-series
Caregivers also need support. A good source of information for caregivers is www.homecareassistance.com.