You totally forgot about the doctor’s appointment scheduled for last Thursday, misplaced your keys for the umpteenth time, and cannot remember the name of your new neighbor for the life of you. Is all of this simply a regular part of aging, or could it be the start of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia?
The worry over developing Alzheimer’s is common; and growing, as dementia has gained increased awareness, contributing to anxieties about our own potential decrease in functionality and independence, in addition to memory challenges. Additionally, it raises questions regarding future living and care arrangements, if the time should come that support is necessary to stay safe and continue living at home.
Nevertheless, it is essential to know there are multiple triggers for forgetfulness which are completely unconnected to Alzheimer’s, and some degree of memory impairment is merely part and parcel of aging. Recent statistics show that only 5% of seniors ages 71 – 79 actually have dementia; however, that number increases to 37% for those aged 90 and over.
The first step is to talk to your primary care physician about any cognitive impairment or potential dementia warning signs you’re experiencing, so you can receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment. Prior to your appointment, pay attention to details such as:
- When the impairment began
- Whether or not it was a sudden or gradual decline
- If it is affecting daily life: eating, getting dressed, taking care of personal hygiene needs, etc.
The physician will want to rule out conditions that can mimic dementia – such as depression and delirium – as well as determine whether the problem might stem from treatment side effects. Dementia progresses slowly, and in addition to memory deficits, can impact the ability to:
- Reason, judge, and problem-solve
- Focus and pay attention
For anyone diagnosed with dementia, or any other condition that affects the capacity to manage everyday life independently, SeniorCorp is always available to provide as much or as little support as necessary by thoroughly trained and experienced care professionals. Just some of the numerous ways we are able to help seniors with Alzheimer’s or other challenges stay safe, comfortable, and independent at home include:
- Assistance with personal care needs, like showering and dressing
- Transportation to enjoyable outings and medical appointments
- Running errands
- Household duties
- Engaging activities and socialization
- And much more
Give us a call at 757-640-0557 for a free in-home assessment for more information about dementia warning signs and how we can help with our trusted Alzheimer’s care in Virginia Beach and the surrounding areas.