World Alzheimer Month
World Alzheimer's Month, culminating in World Alzheimer's Day on September 21st, is to raise awareness of the global impact of dementia. I know I have written about Alzheimer’s in the past but feel the need to continue to talk about it so we do not forget those dealing with friends or family members affected by it.
The number of Canadians with dementia is rising sharply. As of today, there are over half a million Canadians living with dementia - plus about 25,000 new cases diagnosed every year. By 2031, that number is expected to rise to 937,000, an increase of 66 per cent.
Worldwide every three seconds someone develops dementia.
Recognizing some of the warning signs might help families start to deal with changes early in the process. One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s disease, especially in the early stage, is forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates or events, asking for the same information over and over, and increasingly needing to rely on memory aids such as post-its everywhere or family members for things they used to handle on their own.
Some people may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. They may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. They may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did easily before.
People with Alzheimer's often find it hard to complete daily tasks. Sometimes, people may have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work or remembering the rules of a favorite game.
People with Alzheimer's can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. They may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there.
For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer's. They may have difficulty reading, judging distance and determining color or contrast, which may cause problems with driving.
People with Alzheimer's
may have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves.They may struggle with vocabulary, have problems finding the right word or call things by the wrong name such as calling a watch a hand clock.
A person with Alzheimer's disease may put things in unusual places such as vegetables and milk in the pantry. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. Sometimes, they may accuse others of stealing. This may occur more frequently over time.
The mood and personalities of people with Alzheimer's can change. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious.They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends or in places where they are out of their comfort zone.
All of these changes start slowly over time. In early stages of the disease the person realizes that these problems are there but try to hide them from family members.They get frustrated with those who question the changes and deny that they even occur. The sadness has just begun. It gets harder and harder to hide or deny that life is changing for all close to her/him.
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