In 1983, late President Ronald Reagan designated the month of November for Alzheimer’s awareness. Around that time the number of Americans affected by this debilitating illness was 2 million. Today that number stands at 5.4 million. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and the 6th highest cause of death in the United States. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s are frequently mistaken for typical signs of aging in seniors as a majority of Alzheimer’s patients are over the age of 65.
Despite efforts by the Reagan Administration and many other organizations across the country, Alzheimer’s cases are growing rapidly. Unfortunately, no cure has been discovered, but treatments can be very successful by minimizing the impact of symptoms. The best thing for an Alzheimer’s patient is early detection.
The progression of the illness is generally accompanied by more severe symptoms. Early detection allows patients to maximize the benefit of treatments, plan for their future, and participate in building their own team of care providers.
Alzheimer Signs & Symptoms
Alzheimer’s is rarely noticed in its early stages as it attacks the brain. Though it is mostly associated with severe memory loss, that side effect is often mild at first. Knowing the warning signs of Alzheimer’s can lessen the impact of the illness for the patient and his/her caregivers.
These 10 clues are signs that Alzheimer’s may be forthcoming:
- A loss of memory disrupts day-to-day living
- Having difficulty solving problems or making plans
- Incompetent while attempting to complete familiar tasks
- Confusing times or places
- Struggling to identify spatial relationships and images
- Developing problems with written or spoken words
- Losing things and unable to retrace steps
- Lacking good judgment
- Withdrawing from activities with social or work groups
- Changing moods and personality traits
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s are more easily recognized by others. If you notice these signs in yourself or a loved one, contact a physician to schedule an evaluation. Remember, it is imperative to move quickly as the progress of the disease varies drastically from one patient to the next.