Plenty of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or Dementia lead productive and happy lives for many years, even decades after diagnosis. On average, longevity of life after onset of Alzheimer’s is thought to be 20 years.
If you add the knowledge that early diagnosis extends those healthy years, 20 years may become 25-30 years. Then, Alzheimer’s isn’t quite so scarey. So recognizing early symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia can lead to a longer and healthier life if proper diagnosis and treatment is begun at the earliest stages.
Early diagnosis means starting medication too slow Alzheimer’s progress sooner.
Early diagnosis means learning behavioral modifications that can lengthen productive years.
Though there is no cure, there are treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia. And some of those medications can slow the progress of this disease.
Previously, the thought of having Alzheimer’s or Dementia was so frightening that most people ignored the symptoms and delayed consultation with their family doctor.
A few physicians have ignored the signs, themselves, rather than give their patient a timely diagnosis of such dire circumstance. These actions can mean postponing the very medication that can extend productive years and slow the progression of both.
True, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia. But it is no longer an instant death sentence, nor does it have to mean years of living in a mindless maize of jumbled thoughts if an early diagnosis is achieved and proper medications and treatments begun.
“People aren’t recognizing the signs and going to the doctor’s office to be diagnosed early on. We’re finding it turns into a crisis later on,” said Lynn Moffat, the executive director of the Alzheimer Society of Kenora/Rainy River Districts. “It’s important to get early diagnosis. There’s a lot of support and there’s a lot of medication available to slow down (the process).”
So we need to acknowledge the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
Be aware when your memory loss is more than normal aging.
See your doctor. Be aggressive, insist on tests for Alzheimer’s.
The sooner tested and diagnosed, the sooner you can start medication to slow the disease and live a longer and more productive life.
Watch for these warning signs and symptoms in yourself:
- Difficulty performing familiar tasks
- Memory Loss that affects day to day ability
- Problems with language
- Disorientation in time and space.
- Impairment judgement
- Problem with abstract thinking
- Misplacing things (ie. putting a watch in the sugar bowl)
- Changes in mood and behavior (ie. warm coat in the summer)
- Changes in personality (ie. quick to anger)
- Loss of initiative.
Watch for these signs and symptoms in a loved one:
You may notice these new behaviors in a loved one, occasionally at first, then more and more frequently as time goes on.
- A loved one who was previously warm and friendly but suddenly seems more grouchy and agitated.
- An outgoing person who laughs and jokes may suddenly turn his/her humor into inappropriate, sexual innuendo or mean accusations about another
- The woman who prepared every family dinner can no longer create a casserole
- The family financier often forgets to pay the bills.
- The fastidious house keeper suddenly has junk mail on every surface.
- The fashion fashionista wears the same dress or pant suit every day.
- The ballerina or ballroom dancer may suddenly trip over their own feet.
- The crowd loving person may suddenly prefer being home, alone.
- The person may confuse all hand held devices, attempt to use the TV remote as a telephone.
- Little energy to interact with other people and more and more often this person begins to isolate themself.
Recognize and Remember these signs and symptoms.
Reach out to your physician if you have any questions regarding any of these symptoms. Get an early diagnoses.
Begin an early strategy to beat Alzheimer’s and Add many productive years to your life.
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