Alzheimer's disease has been covered widely in health news recently, with different treatment methods and ways to prevent the disease. Even so, I didn’t expect to see it in my own family.
Although it is not certain yet, I believe my grandmother is showing signs of Alzheimer's disease. The other day when I called to invite her to the house, she said she had trouble remembering how to turn on the computer. My stepmother also talked to her and she told me that my grandmother said she had trouble remembering what certain objects were called. She also forgot my stepsister's name.
I tried to make my grandmother feel better by saying she was probably just having a bad day, and that memory loss happens to everyone. However, I discussed the issue with my stepmother and she told her that she needs to see a doctor. Hopefully she will follow through with this because I know it pains her to be losing her memory like this.
In order to help a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, it is probably best to know the symptoms first.
Here are the 10 warning signs for Alzheimer’s disease from the Alzheimer’s Association:
1) Memory changes that disrupt daily life
2) Challenges in planning or solving problems
3) Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
4) Confusion with time or place
5) Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
6) New problems with words in speaking or writing
7) Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
8) Decreased or poor judgment
9) Withdrawal from work or social activities
10) Changes in mood and personality
There are many ways to help a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, but probably the best way is to realize that they do need help and to give them constant attention. It is probably best that the person with Alzheimer’s disease not be left alone.
The Alzheimer’s Association says it is important to recognize that you will have to help your loved one perform certain tasks, such as balancing the checkbook, doing taxes, handling financial and legal matters and doing household chores.
Some tips for dealing with this (from the Alzheimer's Association):