During the holidays, a lot of adult children take time to visit with older relatives. The last thing anyone wants to think about is if their older loved one is exhibiting signs of memory impairment. Even with family members that may be younger, recognizing early onset Alzheimer’s could help slow the progression of the disease by seeking help sooner. If you noticed a loved one exhibiting any of the following symptoms or behaviors during the holidays, it might be time to act.
Spot the Signs
- Misplacing Items - When you lose your keys or phone, you can generally find them by retracing your steps. However, if someone is living with memory impairment, they may not be able to remember how to retrace their steps or what they were looking for while doing so.
- Memory Issues – It is generally accepted when people forget an appointment or someone’s name that they have just met. But if someone is continually forgetting new information, it could be a sign of early onset Alzheimer’s. Other examples of memory issues are having to ask the same question repeatedly or getting confused about the conversation, where they are, or what is going on.
- Trouble Problem Solving – Perhaps you and your family members got together over the holidays and played some of your favorite games. If you recognized any of your loved ones having issues playing a family favorite, that could be a red flag for memory impairment. Other issues that could be red flags are problems working everyday items, such as the coffee maker, or difficulty solving simple math equations.
- Conversation Difficulties – In some cases, that perfect word you are searching for just slips out of your mind. In other cases, it could be a warning sign of a memory issue. If a loved one was repeatedly calling you the wrong name, calling an item by the incorrect name, or forgetting words altogether, it might be time to speak up and seek help.
Other warning signs of Alzheimer’s Disease may include withdrawing socially, exhibiting poor judgment, or demonstrating personality changes. However, it is also important to note that if you did recognize a loved one displaying any of these signs, it may be from a sickness or medication interaction, and it is always best to speak with a doctor.
While there is still no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, if caught early enough the progression can be slowed. It is also essential to seek professional help - that way you will know if and what kind of memory impairment your loved one may be displaying signs of. Other benefits of early detection include:
- Finding support groups
- Preparing legal and financial situations
- Addressing future safety issues
- Securing appropriate living arrangements
- Testing medications, treatments, or possibly a clinical trial
As long as there are organizations developing new treatments and medications, there will always be hope. As with most diseases, early detection is vital. Whether it is early onset Alzheimer’s disease or another form of memory impairment, you and your loved one can still F.I.G.H.T. it together.
At Oaks Senior Living, we offer a specialized memory care program, Oaks Horizons, that is always willing to help those affected. If you or your loved one would like help with their memory impairment fight, contact your closest community today!