September is World Alzheimer’s Month, so we thought we’d share some of the great Alzheimer’s awareness information & dementia educational materials available about Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia.
Facts About Alzheimer’s Disease
Dementia: Can we reduce the risk?
The theme for World Alzheimer’s Month 2014 is ‘Dementia: Can we reduce the risk?‘, focusing on ways we may be able to help reduce our risk of developing dementia with brain healthy lifestyles. Dementia is a term used to describe different brain disorders that affect memory, thinking, behavior and emotion.
Symptoms of Dementia
Every person is unique and dementia affects people differently – no two people will develop dementia symptoms in exactly the same way. An individual’s personality, general health and social environment are all important factors in determining the impact of dementia.
Dementia symptoms vary between Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, but there are broad similarities between them all. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. Other causes include vascular disease, lewy body dementia and frontotemporal dementia. The most common signs of dementia are memory loss and the loss of practical abilities, which can lead to withdrawal from work or social activities.
The most common early symptoms of dementia are:
- Memory loss – Declining memory, especially short-term memory, is the most common early symptom of dementia.
- Difficulty performing familiar tasks – People with dementia often find it hard to complete everyday tasks that are so familiar we usually do not focus on thinking about how to do them.
- Problems with language – Occasionally everyone has trouble finding the right word but a person with dementia often forgets simple words or substitutes unusual words, making speech or writing hard to understand.
- Disorientation to time and place – We sometimes forget the day of the week or where we are going but people with dementia can become lost in familiar places such as the road they live in, forget where they are or how they got there, and not know how to get back home. A person with dementia may also confuse night and day.
- Poor or decreased judgement – People with dementia may dress inappropriately, wearing several layers of clothes on a warm day or very few on a cold day.
- Problems with keeping up with regular activities – A person with dementia may find it difficult to follow a conversation or keep up with paying their bills.
- Misplacing items – Anyone can temporarily misplace his or her wallet or keys. A person with dementia may put things in unusual places such as an iron in the fridge or a wristwatch in the sugar bowl.
- Changes in mood or behavior – Everyone can become sad or moody from time to time. A person with dementia may become unusually emotional and experience rapid mood swings for no apparent reason or a lack or less emotion than before.
- Changes in personality – A person with dementia may seem different from his or her usual self in ways that are difficult to pinpoint. A person may become suspicious, irritable, depressed, apathetic or anxious and agitated especially in situations where memory problems are causing difficulties.
- Loss of initiative – At times everyone can become tired of housework, business activities, or social obligations. However a person with dementia may become very passive, sitting in front of the television for hours, sleeping more than usual, or appear to lose interest in hobbies.
If you think that these problems are affecting your daily life, or the life of someone you know, you should talk to your doctor, or encourage them to talk to theirs and if you decide you need in-home assistance due to dementia or Alzheimer’s please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about how AlwaysOn Home Care can help you or your loved one with dementia care.
A Lack of Dementia Education and Alzheimer’s Awareness Decreases Support and Causes Social Withdraw
Dementia is often hidden away, not spoken about, or ignored at a time when the person living with dementia and their family caregivers are most in need of support within their families, friendship groups and communities.
The social stigma is the consequence of a lack of knowledge about dementia and it can have numerous effects, including:
- Dehumanizing of the person with dementia
- Strain within families and friendships
- A lack of sufficient care for people with dementia and their care givers
- A lower rate of diagnosis of dementia
- Delayed diagnosis and support
The stigma of dementia is a global problem and it is clear that the less we talk about dementia, the more the stigma will grow. This World Alzheimer’s Month we encourage you to find out more and play your part in reducing the stigma and improving the lives of people with dementia and their carers in your community.
Go Purple on September 21 to Show your Support For Dementia and Alzheimer’s Awareness & Research
Reduce the Risk of Developing Dementia
Dementia & Alzheimer’s Resources: Learning More, Getting Help & Care Giving for Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease
- The Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam (SAGE) is designed to detect early signs of cognitive, memory or thinking impairments. It evaluates your thinking abilities and helps physicians to know how well your brain is working.
- Living With Alzheimer’s Disease Resources from the Alzhemier’s Association
- Alzheimer’s & Dementia Caregivers Center from the Alzhemier’s Association
- MUSIC & MEMORY℠, helps elders in care facilities suffering from a wide range of cognitive challenges such as Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease find renewed meaning and connection in their lives through the gift of personalized music.
- If you or a loved one are in Phoenix and need in-home assistance contact us to learn more about how AlwaysOn Home Care can help you or your loved one with dementia care or memory care.