November is a month to go purple with a purpose, it is the month designated to raise awareness and educate about Alzheimer’s disease.  Alzheimer’s is a disease of the brain and today we are going to talk about the definition of Alzheimer’s, early symptoms to recognize and what you can do to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s in your life.  So first let’s talk about the basic definition of Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and eventually the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.  We still do not know how the Alzheimer’s disease process begins, and we do not have a cure for Alzheimer’s.  Alzheimer’s is the result of plaque buildup in the brain. 
  • It’s important to remember that we all have some memory loss as we age, but the memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s will get worse over time affecting your ability to function at work and at home. 

Here are some early signs of Alzheimer’s disease to be aware of:  Of course memory problems are one of the first signs to appear.  Early symptoms may be different from person to person.  If you have Alzheimer’s you may notice that you’re having difficulty remembering things that have always been automatic for you.  Or you may not notice at all and family members will notice changes.  One of my relatives was affected by Alzheimer’s and one of the early signs I noticed was she would be talking and she would suddenly stop mid-sentence, because she did not remember what she was talking about. 

Here are some other signs:

  • Repeating statement and questions over and over, not realizing they’ve been asked before. 
  • Forgetting conversations, appts and events
  • Misplacing possessions
  • And eventually forgetting names of family members and everyday objects. 

Here are some things you can do to reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Keeping socially active and having frequent social interactions.
  • A stimulating job
  • Mentally challenging leisure activities- such as reading, playing games or learning a new hobby. 
  • Lastly stay physically active by exercising on a daily basis.

Maine-ly Elder Care serves a lot of seniors afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease and unfortunately this disease affects the whole family.  If you have questions about Alzheimer’s or would like to inquire about a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s, you can contact Maine-ly Elder Care, we would be happy to help you in any way we can. 

~Denise Stevens RN, CEO

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