Alzheimer's Disease Signs and Awareness

Alzheimer’s disease affects many older adults and yet it often goes unrecognized and untreated; it is written off or attributed to the normal aging process.  There are ten early signs of Alzheimer’s that are important for everyone to recognize. These include; memory loss that disrupts daily life, challenges in planning or solving problems, difficulty completing familiar tasks, confusion with time or place, trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships, new problems with words in speaking or writing, misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps, decreased or poor judgment, withdrawal from work or social activities, and changes in mood and personality.  If you or someone you know is experiencing one or more of these indicators, it is a good idea to schedule a professional medical checkup as early as possible.  There are many overlapping traits between dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and normal age-related cognitive decline so it is beneficial to be informed and identify proactive steps that may positively address aspects of both mental and physical health.  Below are links to two documents from the Alzheimer’s Association of the Central Coast that may be helpful to complete before seeing a physician.  Even if you or your loved one are not experiencing any of the early signs of Alzheimer’s, it is important to keep your brain active by engaging in mental tasks such as crosswords, puzzles, or reading. Wilshire Community Services offers several community programs, such as Caring Callers, that provide opportunities for older adults to engage with others and stay active..    

Doctor’s Appointment Checklist
http://www.alz.org/national/documents/ED_doc_checklist.pdf

Principles for a Dignified Diagnosis
http://www.alz.org/national/documents/brochure_dignified_diagnosis.pdf

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