Sep 7, 2017 by Comfort Keepers
Healthy Aging Month is a time for seniors across American to reflect on the many aspects of a healthy lifestyle. Each September, cities and organizations throughout the United States take time to help seniors evaluate their physical, social, cognitive, emotional, and even financial health. Many seniors will find that they have mastered healthy aging and can continue into their glorious golden years. Others, however, may find that a few changes might lead to an improved quality of life. For many, this may include the addition or modification of home care services, especially if a chronic ailment is present.
Healthy Aging Month is the perfect time for seniors to go through a quick mental and cognitive health inventory. It only takes a minute, but it could, literally, save their life.
Dementia and Alzheimer's disease are not synonymous, but the two terms are almost always used together. In fact, dementia refers to a broad range of brain-based issues while Alzheimer's disease is a specific form of dementia. More to-the-point, it is the primary form of dementia in seniors accounting for the vast majority of cases. While every "senior moment" and memory lapse is not a reason to be concerned about dementia or Alzheimer's, there are many signs and symptoms that should be looked into. During Healthy Aging Month, seniors should review the warning signs of Alzheimer's.
The most noticeable sign of Alzheimer's disease is progressive memory loss, especially when there is trouble recalling names, places, faces, or the names of common objects. Similarly, regularly misplacing items or placing items in inappropriate places is reason for concern.
Poor judgement in-and-of itself does not mean a senior has dementia, but when it leads to neglecting personal hygiene, making poor financial choices, and saying things that do not make sense, then there could be more to it. After all, Alzheimer's makes it difficult for seniors to plan, work with numbers, or complete complex or multiple step tasks.
There are many reasons that have nothing to do with dementia that may cause a senior to withdraw socially. Sometimes, it can be as simple as hearing or vision loss, loneliness, or sadness. Other times, however, social withdrawal can be linked to a loss of memory and cognition.
If being confused now and again was a sign of Alzheimer's then we'd all be in trouble. If the confusion goes beyond an occasional lapse, however, it may be time to have things checked out. Common indicators of Alzheimer's include missing several dates, not noticing the changing of the seasons or the passage of time, or not understanding why something that takes time is not happening immediately. In the same way, a person with Alzheimer's may forget where they are or how they got there.
There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, but with early detection, steps can be taken to slow the progression of the disease and prepare for the later stages of the disease, including arranging for the home care that will be needed as Alzheimer's progresses.
For more information about Healthy Aging Month, Alzheimer's disease, or the many ways Comfort Keepers home care leads to happier, safer, and healthier seniors, contact a senior care coordinator today for a free in-home consultation.
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