World Alzheimer Month

Montreal Times - - News - By Donna Byrne mtl­

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.

Please ss ad be­low to reach Donna.

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