Identifying when an aging parent or grandparent may be developing a memory-impairing disease such as Alzheimer's is not an easy task especially considering how many people disregard the indicators as "normal signs of aging."
Beth Campbell, director of Concordia Adult Day Services, has a number of years experience working with those suffering from an Alzheimer's-type disease or illness. The Alzheimer's Association presented the following warning signs of an Alzheimer's-related disease, and Campbell offered examples of each.
1. Memory loss
For example: Forgetting recently learned information.
2. Difficulty performing familiar tasks
For example: Not being able to handle one's own affairs, such as banking or bill paying.
3. Language problems
For example: The inability to say a familiar phrase, getting lost in the middle of a conversation or repeating oneself.
4. Disorientation to time and place
For example: Difficulty following the days of the week and seasons.
5. Poor or decreased judgment
For example: Spending money irresponsibly or not taking care of one's hygiene.
6. Problems with abstract thinking
For example: Not thinking things out or following through with tasks, such as using a recipe.
7. Misplacing things
For example: Putting items such as keys in an unusual place and not being able to retrace one's steps to find them again.
8. Changes in mood or behavior
For example: Unprovoked confusion, anxiety or fearfulness.
9. Personality changes
For example: Removing oneself from social activities, hobbies, sports or work, becoming anxious about one's inability to "keep up."
10. Loss of initiative
For example: Not participating or joining in regular activities due to fear of failure.
Beth said as with any other health concern, consult with your physician or other qualified health care professional for diagnosis, treatment and answers to your specific Alzheimer's-related questions.
Concordia Adult Day Services offers more than just basic care. Participants are evaluated regularly, offered social activities, exercise classes, nutritious meals and snacks, pastoral visits, medical oversight and much more. The goal is to get our participant re-motivated, giving them the opportunity to engage once again in activities that are pleasurable, such as cooking, baking, cleaning and just getting along with others.
For information, referrals or counseling, contact Concordia Adult Day Services Director Beth Campbell at 724.352.1571, ext. 8271 or e-mail here.