Holidays a good time to detect Alzheimers in family members

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - 7:37pm

Alzheimers is a common disease that effects millions of adults every year, but the earlier you can detect the signs, the better. Being around your family for the holidays can be a good time to look for signs in your loved ones.

"The holidays are a good time to look out for alzheimer's, or warning signs of that disease because family is normally together, you see grandma grandpa, aunt, uncles that you haven't seen in a while."Jamie Huff of the Alzheimer's alliance of Smith County said.
Huff says look for things like mood changes, withdrawing from the crowd, your adult relatives misplace things easily, or if your loved one begins repeating themselves. "Also if grandma has made the same dressing she has for 30-40 years, and it doesn't turn out right and she doesn't notice," Huff said.

The holidays are a good time to spot these early signs, Allison McKinney of Home Instead Senior Care of Smith and Wood County said, because distant family members can point out changes easier than closer relatives, "If the change is gradual someone who is in the presence of that person daily may not be able to notice how big of a change has been taken on," Mckinney said.

If you notice something isn't right, don't be afraid to have a conversation with your loved one and take the next step, "trust your instinct if you don't think something is right, it's absolutely fine to make a doctors appointment with your parent involve your loved one, nobody wants to be left out of the loop, so encourage them to help you make that appointment and even go to it with them," McKinney said.

The Alzeimer's Alliance of Smith County offers free memory screening year round and Home Instead Senior Care offers many services for including home care services and resources.

The 10 Early Detection Signs of Alzheimer's Disease

- Changes in personality or mood

- Being withdrawn from social activities or work activities

- A decrease in judgment

- Issues with being able to retrace steps or frequently misplacing things

- Issues with speaking or writing certain works

- Difficulty in understanding visual images or struggles with spatial relationships

- Easy confusion regarding time and place

- Challenges in completing what are normally familiar tasks

- Issues with planning or difficulties with solving problem

- Memory loss that can disrupt everyday life


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