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Dementia and Alzheimer’s are conditions that are generally associated with old age but can also be triggered by factors such as stress or depression. Whatever the reason for the onset of this worrying and sometimes distressing condition, the main point to remember is that early detection is critical in order to obtain the best possible treatment and outcome.
If anyone has a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, they will understand just how upsetting it can be to see the behavioral changes that are consistent with this medical problem. Seeing someone you love change in their personality and struggle to cope with some everyday routine tasks can make them vulnerable and in need of the right level of care as time goes on.
The issues surrounding Alzheimer’s and dementia and the care of patients who are experiencing the symptoms, are often the reason why a nursing home lawyer like Len Haberman Esq, is required to intervene and help a family who are struggling to get the right level of support for their loved one.
Here is a look at some of the signs that you should look out for which may be an indication of the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Spotting the cognitive changes
There are a number of clear cognitive changes that should be brought to the attention of your physician as soon as these are noticed, so that further tests and evaluation can be carried out.
Memory loss is one of the most commonplace signs of either Alzheimer’s or dementia. It is perfectly normal to forget a person’s name or an appointment that you have made from time to time but if the forgetfulness becomes increasingly regular and there is a noticeable inability to recall recently acquired information, this could well be the first symptoms and need checking as soon as possible.
People suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia also display signs of difficulty in performing normal everyday tasks such as brushing their teeth or preparing a meal. This is due to the fact that the recall sequence of steps that are needed to do these basic things, can get jumbled and therefore make it very difficult to accomplish.
Forgetting the correct word for an everyday object is also a common issue as well as orientation problems, where the person affected suddenly become unfamiliar with their regular surroundings, including not remembering the layout of their house.
Other cognitive changes include an inability to display sound judgment and putting things back in the wrong place, which may seem amusing at first, but can quickly become very frustrating.
An aspect of Alzheimer’s and dementia that is often upsetting for family and friends is when they see a change in the behavior, due to possible symptoms.
A noticeable shift in personality is often one of the early warning signs and this can also include rapidly changing moods, where you can go from one extreme motion to the other in virtually a split second.
Sleeping for prolonged periods in the daytime can be indicative of Alzheimer’s or dementia, but it can be a sign of depression. A physician needs to carry out a number of recognized tests to establish a clear diagnosis and eliminate whether the symptoms are related to depression or if the behavioral changes are suggesting that Alzheimer’s or dementia is the problem.
The MMSE is a mini mental status exam and is broadly used for detecting Alzheimer’s and dementia as well as testing for cognitive decline.
It is important that anyone showing the early warning signs is given access to help and support as quickly as possible.
Len Haberman, Esq., is a lawyer in the Philadelphia area who works hard to support nursing home abuse victims. When he has the time, he also likes to share his insights with others. Look for his enlightening articles on many websites and blogs online.