When it comes to daily tasks, we usually rely on our memory in knowing what our next course of action would be. However, there will be times that we can easily forget about what we’re supposed to be doing. Naturally, forgetfulness is only human nature, and we usually take a mental note not to forget again.
But as we grow older, we tend to become even more forgetful. While we forget about some things, chronic forgetfulness is known for being a major early symptom of one of the most common but severe health problems among older adults: Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease symptoms aren’t as obvious as other types of disease and can usually be prevented early on. Thus, it’s important that we look out for early signs of Alzheimer’s among older family members.
What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s Disease (Or AD, as known by healthcare experts) is a progressive condition that will slowly degenerate a person’s brain cells, causing a variety of different health complications related to the person’s central nervous system.
It’s really unknown what the exact catalyst of AD is and is yet to be fully determined by healthcare professionals. Although, scientists have a suspicion that Alzheimer’s is known for being a combination of different factors that will usually lead up to it. Some known factors include:
- Changes in a person’s lifestyle
- Environmental factors and stimuli
It’s important to note that AD doesn’t just affect a person’s ability to remember critical information or forget to take care of themselves; it can also cause stress and many relationship problems in a family.
Symptoms and Prevention
To know different ways of preventing such a health condition, we have to first look into key early symptoms that might happen during the early middle ages.
Remember: lapses in your memory are quite normal, especially for individuals who are too pre-occupied, stressed, or distracted. However, there are times that you will forget about things more frequently, which could be a really early sign of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Frequent Forgetfulness – This is, by far, one of the most common early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Forgetting about dates, names, and appointments that you have made is known as being a symptom. Another early symptom is asking the same question frequently and having to rely on notepads for information.
- Trouble with numbers – Another early sign of Alzheimer’s is having issues with solving problems and sticking to plans that are based on numbers. If you’ve known a certain recipe that you’ve known for years and all of a sudden, you can’t keep track of it or a consistent bill that you need to pay every month, you might have Alzheimer’s disease.
- Difficulty with ordinary tasks -; Operating new appliances and machinery might be difficult for most older adults, but if most of these individuals are having a harder time driving or remembering the rules of a board game, they might have a problem with AD.
- Having trouble with time management and dates – Most of the time, people will get confused about remembering what day it is if they don’t keep tabs on time. Another early sign of Alzheimer’s is forgetting about the passage of time and being disoriented with schedules.
There are even more symptoms characterized by mood swings, changes in behavior, and the lack of spatial awareness. Still, it’s important to talk to a doctor when these symptoms surface early on in a family member’s middle-aged years.
Usually, the following have an increased risk of AD:
- Sixty-five years old and above. Although cases can still happen before the age of 65, the chances of contracting Alzheimer’s will be doubled every five years that pass by from the threshold.
- There is a long history of Alzheimer’s in the family.
- Severe trauma and head injuries in particular areas of the head.
- Drinking, obesity, diabetes, and smoking cigarettes are just some known risk factors that can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
So what are some means of preventing such a disease?
Strategic Senior Living Design
Most of the time, seniors will have small living spaces just enough for all the key functions they need. Older adults might need help when interacting with new appliances since they’ll forget about the daily tasks that they need to do.
Strategically placing appliances in the right areas can help ensure that they don’t forget what they are doing. There will be times when these individuals break appliances, especially since they’re unsure about how to operate them. Fortunately, repair services can help ensure that appliances are up and running.
Besides exercising and keeping yourself active, mentally-stimulating games are known for helping prevent Alzheimer’s while also ensuring that the individual is constantly thinking and “exercising” his brain. Games that will require a good amount of intellectual skill, such as video games, are known for preventing the effects of Alzheimer’s disease while also keeping them entertained.
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s can be subtle, and most people won’t notice it until later on in their life. Although there are preventive measures to Alzheimer’s, it’s still important to look into the early signs.
When in doubt of an older family member’s current situation, you can always bring them to the doctor. It’s important to get them diagnosed with a licensed medical practitioner rather than making postulations solely on gut feeling. After all, prevention is better than having to cure a disease.