Ryan McNeil | November of 1983 marked the official designation of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Communities since then have made it their mission to not only increase awareness of the disease but raise funds toward the research for a cure, too.
What is Alzheimer’s?
According to the National Institute of Aging, Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia. It is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s. However, with new medical treatments, clinical trials, and with the help of advancements in technology doctors provide Alzheimer’s patients with a somewhat better quality of life.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports “The number of people living with the disease doubles every 5 years beyond age 65 and this number is projected to nearly triple to 14 million people by 2060.”
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
Every person who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is the not the same. There are signs or indicators that manifest differently in people. However, there are symptoms that you should be on the look out for.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association there are 10 symptoms of Alzheimer’s
- 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
- Changes in mood and personality
Who Does Alzheimer’s Affect?
Regular responsibilities like remembering to pay bills, turning off electrical appliances or just trying to recall specific memories are challenging for persons afflicted by the disease. It’s never easy for family and friends to see a loved one decline. Alzheimer’s is a debilitating disease that causes stress for both family and caregiver.
Family members, who are caregivers particularly face a different set of challenges. There is strain from the physical part of taking care of an individual failing in health. This is coupled with the mental burden of knowing there’s nothing that can be done.
Top 5 Ways You Can Help
The Alzheimer’s Association list the top five ways to help family members dealing with the disease.
- Educate yourself about Alzheimer’s disease. Learn about its effects and how to respond.
- Stay in touch. A card, a call or a visit means a lot and shows you care.
- Be patient. Adjusting to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis is an ongoing process and each person reacts differently.
- Offer a shoulder to lean on. Offering your support and friendship is helpful.
- Engage the person with dementia in conversation. It’s important to involve the person in conversation even when his or her ability to participate becomes more limited.
It’s always important for you or your loved one’s estate planning to be complete before health issues or other problems arise.
Brinkley Walser Stoner attorneys are here to help with your legal needs; schedule your appointment today to speak with one of our experienced attorneys.