Identifying Alzheimer's and the Importance of Asking for Help

By Cheyenne Tyler Jacobs

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. Symptoms eventually grow severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.” Alzheimer’s accounts for 60-80% of dementia, and it impacts people around 65 years of age and older. Alzheimer’s impacts memory skills, communication, and ability to carry out is estimated to set in years before when symptoms develop.

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s can be overwhelming to navigate especially if you are caring for a loved one. Below are the top ten signs of Alzheimer’s outlined by the Alzheimer’s Association.

Top Symptoms:

  1. Memory loss hinders your day-to-day activities and daily life.
  2. Cant problem solve and can experience troubles with numbers.
  3. Trouble completing and remembering daily tasks (i.e., morning routine).
  4. Losing track of dates.
  5. Trouble conceptualizing illustrations.
  6. Trouble with conversations.
  7. Misplacing everyday items.
  8. Poor judgment.
  9. Withdrawing from activities and social settings.
  10. Mood can become more suspicious, anxious, and depressed.

If any of these conditions start to rise, it is essential to talk to a medical professional immediately. Alzheimer’s can impact an individual an estimated 10 years before any of the above conditions surfacing. Some can confuse these symptoms with aging, but being aware of the impacted day-to-day activities is key. Alzheimer’s can be divided into mild, moderate, and severe care, with the highest level needing assistance with living and care.

At this time, Alzheimer’s does not have a cure, but some practices can help manage the condition and keep the individual safe and comfortable. Below is a list of daily routines that can help with both the physical and mental strain of Alzheimer’s from the National Institute of Aging.

Tips for Caring For Alzheimer’s:

  1. Create a daily routine. Something that takes a few steps and is repetitive.
  2. Try using music and dance as a calming and soothing tools.
  3. Encourage and affirm that you are there to help them.
  4. Try not to argue or internalize the frustration.
  5. If possible, provide space for them to walk.

Bringing in a healthcare professional can be beneficial to both the individual with Alzheimer’s and the caregiver. In severe cases, someone may experience spurts of anger and hallucinations, which can make working with them frustrating and overwhelming. In addition, talking to a professional about assisted living programs can be beneficial to alleviate some of the caretaking off of family and friends.

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can require constant learning and navigation. However, with research and professional assistance, one can not take on the heavy load of managing alone.

Site content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.