Alzheimer’s: Early Signs & Ways To Get Involved
No matter where you live, Alzheimer’s matters. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the disease is considered a global epidemic with more than 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, with over 11 million family and friends providing care for those with dementia in the U.S. Upwards of 13,000 Vermonters have Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia and more than 25,000 friends and family are providing care. There has never been a more important time to combat this deadly disease.
In September, our team will be participating in the 2022 Walk to End Alzheimer's, and we are currently conducting research studies on better treatment options. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the impacts, symptoms and steps you can take to educate yourself and help others.
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, causing problems with memory, thinking and behavior.
Although to date there is still not a cure, early detection may provide relief of symptoms and help maintain a level of independence longer.
Older adults may find it confusing when trying to differentiate between age-typical cognitive changes and dementia. Alzheimer’s awareness includes paying attention to any signs of declining memory or reasoning and having a discussion with your doctor.
10 EARLY SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life vs age-related change
Forgetting recently learned information, asking the same questions repeatedly and forgetting important dates and events can be common signs of Alzheimer’s.
An age-related example might be forgetting a name or appointment but remembering later.
2. Challenges in planning or solving problems vs age-related change
It may become more difficult to develop or follow a plan, work with numbers or maintain concentration.
An age-related example might be making occasional errors when managing finances or bills.
3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks vs age-related change
Alzheimer’s awareness can include noticing daily tasks becoming harder, such as experiencing problems driving to a familiar location or creating a grocery list.
An age-related example might be occasionally needing help with technology settings.
4. Confusion with time or place vs age-related change
Tracking dates, seasons and the passage of time can become more difficult, including individuals forgetting where they are and how they got there.
An age-related example might be becoming confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later.
5. Trouble with visual images and spatial relationships vs age-related change
Alzheimer’s awareness might include noticing vision problems, difficulty with balance, reading, judging distance or determining color or contrast.
An age-related example might be developing vision challenges due to cataracts.
6. New problems with words in speaking or writing vs age-related change
Trouble following or joining a conversation can include struggling with vocabulary or being unable to name a familiar object.
An age-related example might be occasionally struggling to find the right word.
7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps vs age-related change
Putting things in unusual places, losing objects and even accusing others of taking them can occur more frequently as the disease progresses.
An age-related example might be misplacing things occasionally but retracing steps to find them.
8. Decreased or poor judgment vs age-related change
A decrease in judgment may be experienced, especially when dealing with money or when it comes to personal grooming.
An age-related example might be making an occasional mistake or bad decision.
9. Withdrawal from work or social activities vs age-related change
If struggling to follow a conversation, a person may begin withdrawing from social activities or no longer keep up with a favorite activity.
An age-related example might be occasionally feeling uninterested in family or social obligations.
10. Changes in mood and personality vs age-related change
Mood and personality changes can occur, including confusion, depression, fear, suspicion and anxiety.
An age-related example might be becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted after developing a specific way of completing a process.
HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED
Get involved and bring Alzheimer’s awareness to others. The Alzheimer’s Association is a great place to learn more. You can also reach out to our clinic for more information. Get involved by:
1. Join us in the 2022 Rutland Walk to End Alzheimer's
Taking place in Main Street Park in Rutland. You can find out more by visiting 2022 Walk to End Alzheimer's - Rutland, VT | Walk to End Alzheimer's
2. Donate to our team
100% of the proceeds from our fundraiser will go to the Alzheimer's Association which contributes to raise much needed awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.
You can visit our page and donate at: 2022 Walk to End Alzheimer's - Rutland, VT: Green Mountain Research Institute | Walk to End Alzheimer's
If you don't live locally, there are several other locations where the Alzheimer's Association will be hosting walks, with other teams you can contribute to. You can find more information on local Walks on the Alzheimer's Association website.
3. If you or a loved one is suffering from Alzheimer's, look into a Research Study.
The only way to find a cure, or better treatment is through Clinical Research. Medications are thoroughly tested before ever reaching humans and are relatively safe to use. GMRI is currently conducting a study for Mild-to-Moderate AD, find out more about the study and if you or your loved one qualifies.
Sign up here for more information: Sign Up for a Clinical Trial | Green Mountain Research Institute