The Thanksgiving holiday and Alzheimer's disease have something in common: they share the month of November. While this month brings a plethora of cuisine-filled celebrations with friends and family, it is also Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month. The Thanksgiving holiday, which often brings in relatives from out of town, provides an opportunity for family members to spend quality time with loved ones and perhaps even be on the lookout for warning signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
An estimated 5 million people suffer from Alzheimer's today. The disease is a common form of dementia in the elderly. Dementia can affect memory, language, personality and eventually bodily functions such as the ability to walk or eat. Alzheimer's disease generally has a relatively slow onset with progressively worse symptoms as time goes on.
220,00 people aged 65 and older are living with Alzheimer's in Ohio. By 2025 that number is expected to grow to 250,00.
Warning signs to keep an eye open for in loved ones:
Dropping of work or social activities due to potential changes in cognitive abilities
Increased need for reminders, prompting or assistance to get through normal daily life
Inability to balance a checkbook, or getting lost in familiar surroundings
Struggling to find the right words or difficulty maintaining conversation
Inability to remember new things
Some of these signs can be considered part of the normal aging process, so it's essential to speak with your doctor about any symptoms you may notice.
While the possibility of Alzheimer's disease can be daunting, equipping yourself with accurate information and partnering with your doctor to develop a care plan to deal with possible changes can bring comfort to you and your loved ones