Information on Alzheimer’s Disease
This month is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. In honour of this, we wanted to share some information regarding Alzheimer’s Disease with you today. It’s incredibly important to be aware of the symptoms and support available to ensure the best possible outcome should Alzheimer’s Disease impact you or someone you love.
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease progress slowly over several years. Sometimes these symptoms are confused with other conditions and may initially be put down to old age. Reach out to a healthcare professional if you have any concerns regarding a loved one who may be demonstrating symptoms, even if it’s simply to put your mind at ease.
Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common cause of dementia but there are other types of dementia too. Dementia is a word used to describe a group of symptoms that occur when brain cells stop working properly. This happens inside specific areas of the brain, which can affect how you think, remember and communicate.
Generally, the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease are divided into 3 main stages: early symptoms, middle-stage symptoms and later symptoms. Today we’ll be focusing on early-stage symptoms.
Memory lapses are typically the earliest symptom of Alzheimer’s Disease. This can include:
- Forgetting about recent conversations or events
- Misplacing items
- Forgetting the names of places and objects
- Having trouble thinking of the right word
- Asking questions repetitively
- Showing poor judgement or finding it harder to make decisions
- Becoming less flexible and more hesitant to try new things
- There are often signs of mood changes – increasing anxiety or agitation, or periods of confusion.
Reach out if necessary
If you’re worried about your own or a loved one’s memory, it’s a good idea to arrange a visit to the GP. It can be particularly helpful to offer to go along with them if it’s a loved one that you’re concerned about. It’s important to remember memory problems are not just caused by dementia – they can also be caused by depression, stress, medicines or other health problems.
A GP can carry out some simple checks to try to find out what the cause may be, and if they feel that more tests are necessary, they can also refer you to a specialist.
If you are referred to a specialist, they may be based in a memory clinic alongside other professionals who are experts in diagnosing, caring for and advising people with dementia and their families.
The NHS has some great resources if you’ve recently been diagnosed.
At-home care could be an option to consider, especially when it comes to ensuring that you or your loved ones are safe but are still able to live independently. You can read more about what at home care entails on out blog. We’re always happy to have a chat too – 01892 863710