One-third of caregivers will deal with memory loss of a loved one
By Richard Ueberfluss
About 1 in 8 Americans at least 60 years old reported confusion or memory loss in the preceding 12 months, according to report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. This puts caregivers on the alert for early signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
According to the report, about one-third of Americans also said they had functional difficulties including the ability to work or do household chores. Only 19 percent of the people with memory loss or confusion discussed their problems with a health-care provider.
More than 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s (which has no cure), and the number may triple by 2050, according to the National Institutes of Health. With as many as two-thirds of all cases of dementia going undiagnosed, today’s report underscores the need of health-care workers to initiate talks with patients about the issue, the CDC said.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, here are the 10 most common signs of Alzheimer’s.
1) Memory loss that disrupts daily life
2) Challenges in planning or solving problems
3) Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
4) Confusion with time or place
5) Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
6) New problems with words in speaking or writing
7) Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
8) Decreased or poor judgment
9) Withdrawal from work or social activities
10) Changes in mood and personality
Remember that these are early signs and having one or more of these symptoms does not indicate Alzheimer’s. It’s a good starting point for advanced monitoring.
If you are a caregiver trying to balance care of a family member with Alzheimer’s and making it through each day’s normal activities, contact Assisting Hands and let us discuss an in-home dementia care program. We can help relieve some of the stress that comes with Alzheimer’s care.