The Importance of Early Detection
It should come as no surprise that the world of Alzheimer’s research and awareness is as big as it currently is. Millions across the nation and around the world have been affected by the disease in some form, whether in dealing with their own diagnosis or that of a loved one. When it comes to Alzheimer’s awareness, one of the most vital components is education, not only on what Alzheimer’s is, but what research is being done to find a cure. Early detection, one of the aspects of Alzheimer’s education that was once less emphasized, is now receiving more attention. That’s because further research and testing is being conducted on how the brain starts to change years before severe symptoms occur in Alzheimer’s patients.
The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that only 33% of seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s are aware they have the disease.
As a result of this research, organizations are aiming to increase the number of people who are aware of their diagnosis. An Alzheimer’s diagnosis is extraordinarily difficult for everyone involved, but identifying it sooner rather than later can often make a significant impact on quality of life. Early detection not only allows for the possibility of participating in clinical trials, but it also provides patients and families the chance to plan for what’s to come and to find the appropriate level of care.
Early Signs/Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
Below are some of the common early symptoms and signs of Alzheimer’s that senior clients and family caregivers can be on the lookout for. If clients or family caregivers notice any of these signs, they should immediately schedule a physician appointment.
- Forgetting recently learned information, important dates/events, or repeatedly asking for the same information
- Expressing worry or concern about memory capabilities
- Trouble managing finances or solving problems
- Reluctance to plan for future events, especially for those who typically volunteer their time to plan
- Becoming lost while driving, especially on familiar roads
- Disengaging from work, favorite pastimes/hobbies, or social events
- Increased change in mood and personality
- Poor judgement or decision making
- Difficulty following or joining a conversation, struggling with vocabulary, and using the wrong words for everyday things
- Inability to judge distance/space and understand visual images
- Easily – and frequently – losing track of time
- Sleep problems (falling or staying asleep)
- Misplacing items and lacking the ability to retrace steps to find them
- Increased anxiety or feelings of depression
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home
Comfort Keepers® Can Help
At Comfort Keepers®, our professional care team is trained to identify changes in client behavior and report them to the family. For those suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, our caregivers can help them remain safe and comfortable at home, while providing everything from laundry and housekeeping to meal preparation and transportation. Learn more about how we can help seniors and other adult clients by contacting your local Comfort Keepers location today.
Harvard Health Publishing – Harvard Medical School. “Looking for early signs of Alzheimer’s.” Web. 2017.
Alzheimer’s Association. “10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s.” Web. 2018.
Reader’s Digest. “10 Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Every Adult Should Know” by Lauren Gelman. Web. 2018.