As you visit with family members, pay attention to potential clues that may indicate they require additional assistance in their daily lives or could even be living with a progressive condition like Alzheimer’s disease.
Recently, television show host Dr. Oz reported that he’d missed the warning signs of his mom’s Alzheimer’s disease. Even though he is trained as a cardiothoracic surgeon, not a geriatrician, Dr. Oz publicly shared that in hindsight he’d been overlooking his mother’s symptoms for a long period of time.
Alzheimer’s disease or any additional type of dementia is not part of normal aging. Below we cover some of the indications that Dr. Oz stated that he failed to notice in his own mom:
● No longer being able to retrace one’s steps to locate a misplaced item
● Problems with words
● Difficulty finishing tasks
● Confusion with place and time (the doctor shared that his mom would invite him for lunch though she resides in Turkey and he lives in the U.S.)
● A hard time with planning
● A substantial change in simplistic routines (like a new way of putting on make-up)
● Giving away personal belongings to non-family members
● Increase in stubbornness
What is not on the list is the symptom more commonly related to dementia: memory loss. This disease may exist before memories diminish.
What If Your Family Member Has Symptoms?
Alzheimer’s disease does not simply get better or go away, and early intervention will benefit the entire family. With that being said, there are symptoms which might mimic Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, so it is important to begin a discussion with your family member about your concerns. Arrange an appointment with a health care provider, and if you can, join them at their appointment so you can share your observations and concerns. Communication with your family member is important so that they don’t avoid you or their physician. It’s one of the best ways to ensure they receive any necessary help.
Early diagnosis of this progressive disease can lead to extended independence and the ability to still make important long-term care and end-of-life decisions.
At Saad Healthcare, our caring professionals regularly provide comfort and relief for both patients and caregivers. If you have any questions about Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care or Respite Care services, don’t hesitate to reach out.