“Today, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of progressive memory loss are a growing concern for older Americans and their families,” says Rob Low, Community Relations Director at Clarity Pointe™ Pensacola in Pensacola, Florida.
“Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia at present, memory care experts say that the sooner the condition can be detected, the better the quality of care and potential outcomes for the individual. Examples include: better chances of a favorable response to treatment; a slower progression of symptoms; and a greater opportunity to make important legal, financial and healthcare decisions and arrangements.”
Is It Alzheimer’s or a “Senior Moment?”
Says Rob, “Because of the advantages noted above, the Mayo Clinic and the Alzheimer’s Association are major advocates of early detection and treatment. However, for untrained family members of a loved one showing possible symptoms there is always the question, ‘Should I be concerned about Alzheimer’s or is it just another senior moment?’
“Fortunately, memory care authorities take much of the guesswork out of this question by providing useful guidelines for distinguishing true memory loss from normal age-related behavior.”
5 Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease
There are five major distinguishing signs and symptoms that point to progressive memory loss. The Alzheimer’s Association’s article, “10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s,” goes into even further detail on these indicators and notes that it’s easy to confuse them with normal symptoms of aging. The five primary signs of memory loss, as distinguished from normal aging, include:
1. Changes in Personality –With Alzheimer’s disease, feelings are harder to express with words, so behavior becomes the most common way to communicate emotions. Often, these difficulties bring about troublesome behaviors and personality changes due to confusion, anxiety, suspicion, depression or fear. For example, a warm, friendly person may morph into a grouch, or your soft-spoken, reserved loved one might begin cursing.
Normal Aging – Having specific ways of doing things and becoming irritated when routines are disrupted.
2. Problems with Executive Functioning –Someone with Alzheimer’s disease may have trouble following directions or instructions, find it harder to concentrate on sequential tasks and take much longer to do things than before. They might not follow through on plans they made or they have trouble completing familiar daily tasks. For example, they could have trouble driving to a familiar place or lose track of their monthly bills. These challenges are usually uncharacteristic of the person.
Normal Aging – Occasionally needing help balancing a checkbook or recording a TV show.
3. Vision Problems –Alzheimer’s disease can cause problems with depth perception and visual-spatial coordination. A person may have trouble understanding spatial relationships, which is often revealed through trouble driving or walking (rear-ending another car; bumping into things). In severe cases, they may not recognize their own reflection.
Normal Aging – Vision changes related to cataracts or other eye diseases.
4. Language Problems –New challenges with words are a sign of Alzheimer’s disease when they occur with alarming frequency. People may have difficulty following a conversation, stop mid-sentence and not know how to continue or call common items by the wrong name (e.g., “mouth cleaner” instead of “toothbrush”). They might constantly repeat stories or questions without recollection.
Normal Aging – Sometimes having trouble finding the right word.
5. Social Withdrawal –Alzheimer’s disease may cause a person to withdraw from work, hobbies or social activities. They may have trouble remembering how to complete a favorite hobby or keeping up with a sports team. Because of the changes they’re experiencing, they may shy away from social activities to avoid embarrassment or discomfort.
Normal Aging – Occasionally feeling weary from work, family and other social obligations.
If You Suspect It’s Alzheimer’s disease, See a Doctor Right Away
Rob adds, “The Mayo Clinic article on ‘Dementia Symptoms and Causes’ recommends seeinga physician quickly if your loved one experiences memory problems or other dementia symptoms. They add that dementia symptoms can sometimes be caused by medical conditions that are treatable.
“Therefore, it is essential that a doctor does an examination on your loved to determine the underlying cause of the problem and to recommend a proper treatment plan going forward.”
Serving Families with Memory Care Information and Support
At Clarity Pointe™ Pensacola, we offer more than exceptional memory care for loved ones; we are also a memory care resource for families. As we prepare for our Grand Opening this December, we invite you to visit our developing website often for more updates and information.
You can also view Clarity Pointe’s memory care articles and tips for at-home caregivers and families on a variety of helpful topics that you can use today.
Clarity Pointe … Our Difference is Clear
Clarity Pointe’s Specialized Memory Care “Living” Neighborhoods are truly changing lives for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias – and for those who love them. At Clarity Pointe, our mission is to ensure our memory care residents lead connected and rewarding lives.
Unlike other memory care providers that offer a secure memory care wing in a skilled nursing or assisted living center, Clarity Pointe Pensacola offers three freestanding, purpose-built Memory Care communities that are solely and entirely dedicated to Memory Care Assisted Living. Our beautiful communities blend luxurious surroundings with specialized care that is individualized to each resident and delivered by a compassionate, expert team of professionals.
We stay current on the latest trends and advancements in Alzheimer’s care and implement them into our residents’ care plans. Always moving forward, we combine the latest in evidence-based programming with luxurious, residential living and compassionate respectful care.
For each of our residents, we offer a life that is engaging, fulfilling, inspiring and meaningful.