Alzheimer’s is a very common disease affecting more than three million people in the US each year–most of them 60 or older. While there is currently no cure, there are numerous treatments available to manage the illness. If the person is diagnosed early, they may be able to utilize more treatment options, allowing them to maintain their independence for as long as possible. There are many warnings, signs and symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia but a few stand out as being very common.
While a certain level of memory decline is to be expected with aging, the difficulties associated with Alzheimer’s are much more pronounced. Typically Alzheimer’s will affect the short-term memory while older long-term memories can still be recalled. An example of this can be someone constantly asking the same questions even after they have been answered or not remembering something that happened moments ago. Forgetting a name or a date occasionally is nothing to be alarmed over but if it is a common occurence, it may be worth examining.
Along with short-term memory, those developing dementia will forget the names of objects as well as have difficulty with basic communication skills. It is common for the person to have trouble expressing their ideas or getting out the right words. Getting lost in the middle of a thought or repeating the same phrases multiple times are some other examples. They may also have trouble following along and participating in conversation.
A big indicator for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are changes in mood and personality. Oftentimes the person will become upset more easily and stay upset as a general demeanor. Depression is usually related to dementia as well. An important sign to be aware of is the person’s personality changing noticeably. A shy person becoming more outgoing or vice-versa are two common examples of these changes.
Stemming from the impaired mental strength and memory loss is a general sense of confusion. This can also lead to the frustration and depression the person experiences. For instance, a person may lose their sense of direction and begin to have an impaired sense of judgment. They may also have trouble recognizing where they are and what is happening at the present time.
All of these symptoms go hand-in-hand with one another and influence other warning signs and mental changes for dementia. If you suspect that you or a loved one may be experiencing some of these warning signs, please don’t hesitate to speak to a doctor. Ignoring the problems won’t help them to get better but seeking treatment will help prolong the quality of life.
Senior Life — Responsible Planning Documents for the New Year
A new year is a fresh opportunity and a new chance to plan and prepare for the future. It’s a great time to go ahead and dig into those not-so-fun tasks that you avoided the year prior. Legal documents and orders are no one’s idea of a fun New Year’s resolution, but they are necessary and helpful. So, with that in mind, consider this a quick catch-up on some files you should have on hand for the future. After you’re done the ensuing months will be that much more stress free as you have one less thing to worry about.
A lot of us put off getting a will but it’s nothing to be afraid of. It is, however, a very important document that will prevent a lot of headaches and trouble in the future. A will allows you to name an executor to carry out your final wishes as well as determine what to do with what’s left behind when the day comes. At such a sensitive time your loved ones would much rather remember you and carry out those final wishes than get embroiled in legalities and confusion.
It’s not even as daunting of a task as you may think. Many online resources exist to help with this. The actual legal requirements may surprise you with how lenient they are. Most states do not even require the form to be notarized, simply that it be signed by the person granting the will and two witnesses.
Along these same lines is the living will, or as it is more formally known, Advance Directives. This document allows you to appoint a proxy actor for your care decisions, in the event that you are terminally ill, unconscious or otherwise indisposed.
This allows you to specify decisions you have made about how you would like to be cared for in the event of illness, trauma, etc. Again, there are several quick and easy tools to help you with this process and it is something you can do on your own if you feel comfortable.
Within the living will or Advance Directives is where a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order should be placed. For a variety of reasons, you may prefer to not be resuscitated through physical or mechanical means, should your heart or lungs stop working. This is a personal choice, but it is a valid choice however you choose.
While these documents are your own to decide on however you see fit, you should talk about them with those you love. Let them know the decisions you are taking and discuss them. This may help bring peace and understandinto all and additionally serve to alleviate any confusion that may arise at a later time.
Even though these are files and decisions that most of us would rather not approach, that is precisely why we should finish them and file them away. Planning for the future and preparing these documents now, at the beginning of a fresh new year, will give you peace of mind and you won’t have to worry about them and think about them anymore.
If you have any questions about these items or how to handle them, please don’t hesitate us. We’re happy to help and wish you a wonderful new year.