- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Alzheimer's or a False Alarm?
Subject of Our Times: Alzheimer's, Dementia and Aging. A Summary
Ahlzeimer's disease is the leading cause of death among the incuurable diseases of the wworld.diseases
I have earned my stripes ( age 73) through first hand experience dealing with Alzheimer's, dementia and aging in general through association with friends and family who have found themselves caught in its grasp. I have witnessed my own family members slip painfully through the Alzheimer's process. I have seen first hand its effects on families and their reactions to parents who exhibit only minor changes in attentiveness.
I urge all to be proactive, certainly not inactive if they feel a loss coming about. I have taken my advice in most of these recommendations.
See the chart below. Making Sense Of Memory
Somewhat Tarnished "Golden Years"
Whether our later years are truly golden years is questionable. Those are the years when you become a target for a slew of age related ailments, foremost of which is the mind robbing Alzheimer's disease that seems to shows up with alarming frequency among this generation of ' golden agers" You see it happening to close friends and relatives and you see the pain it causes to the victims and their families. Please don't let it happen to me, you pray.
Forgetting is Normal
Any time you forget even the most inconsequential detail, be it an event, a date, a name a place you can't help but cringe at the possibility that it may be happening to you. Your retirement age group has been made acutely aware of the issues as well as the numbers and facts about the Alzheimer's problem. To further complicate matters our children and friends are also aware of the large number of individuals who succumb to the disease. In time, they begin looking at you with a suspicious eye anytime you misspeak or forget. Soon you can't help wondering yourself if this is the beginning of your journey into darkness.
Do You Worry About Coming Down With Alzheimer's Disease? Is there a family history?
Get Your Affairs In Order, Just In Case
Its always good to have your financial affairs in order and a will prepared It's good that they show some concern. The same could be said about important end of life decisions that will require action eventually or even sooner if in fact you do have issues. You need to assure them that you have worked with your attorney to draw up those requests to about end of life decisions and your will. That should put their minds at ease about how matters will progress if there is a problem down the road.. This is probably the time to have a discussion about these matters if you so choose.
Consider the Reality of Aging.
As we age our minds age along with us.. The fact that we forget some things doesn't mean we are on our way down that slippery slope into oblivion soon where all our old memories are stored. Think of it this way, after 65 or more years of life, we have a lot going on up there. It's not unusual for some of those info-bits to fall out of place on occasion. Think of an old computer that has stored all those files for years since you first bought it. After time, its hard drive gets overloaded and its function is compromised. You don't have to discard the old computer. You can have the hard drive cleaned, the dust blown out and the programs you no longer need, dumped. The results will be a computer with a long useful life ahead of it. That's if you can live with the built in obsolescence found in our gadgetry.
Is It Dimensia or Aging ?
Am I ON or OFF?
Sometimes it's hard to know
Quite often a person with Alzheimer's Disease looks as normal as you or me. They have many lucid moments and don't always show signs of their affliction. Be patient with them.
Could This Be Your Problem?
While it may not make complete sense to you, your responses during normal conversations may lead your friends to believe that your memory is on the wane. As we get older, it is quite common that you can often lose some of your hearing as you age. That's when people begin to notice of the blank expressions on your face and immediately assume that you are losing it. The fact is that when you can't hear you can't be expected to respond correctly to questions or any part of a conversation. If you find yourself saying huh, what, pardon to every conversation directed at you. It's time to get fitted for a hearing aid. You have been in denial about your hearing way too long. Hearing aids can get you back into the mainstream. Quickly.
While there is no absolute cure for Alzheimer's, there are medications available that can improve your mental abilities and arrest the advances of Alzheimer's. Thousands of individuals like yourself are able to lead relatively normal lives in their own homes with minimal supervision. That usually involves following proper medication schedules.
Modern drugs, Aricept for one, have been successful in helping the neurons in your brain make connections that can help improve much of your brains function and memory. For many taking these drugs is likened to letting some fresh air in to clear the cobwebs. More rhwn ever, people are taking this proactive approach to improve brain function.
Is Dad's brain IN or OUT today?
You Are Not Alone.
Be Proactive. If you feel that you are experiencing minor dimensia, talk to your doctor about medications that can help. Great strides are being made evry year in the field.of Alzheimer's and dimensia issues.