Resources on Memory Issues, Dementia & Alzheimer's Disease:

VIDEO: Alzheimer's Association Facts and Figures:

The Alzheimer's Association Facts and Figures report details the growing prevalence and escalating impact of Alzheimer's and dementia on individuals, caregivers, families, government and the nation's healthcare system.


Contents: 

"Senior moment", dementia or Alzheimer's? Knowing the Difference.

What is dementia?

What is Alzheimer's Disease?

How to get a proper diagnosis

Treatment Options

Additional Resources


 

Senior moments, dementia and Alzheimer's:

There is a difference. One of the challenges that many people face as they grow older is age-related memory loss or having a 'senior moment'. It happens to just about all of us from time to time, so it's important to explore all possible causes of memory loss before accepting one diagnosis over another.  

Normal Aging:

The Alzheimer's Association outlines several symptoms related to normal cognitve changes associated with aging. These inlcude:

  • Taking longer to retrieve information

  • Occasionally Forgetting names or appointments

  • Occasionally having trouble finding the right word

  • Temporarily misplacing keys or wallet

  • Occasionally feeling sad or moody

What is dementia?

Dementia is a set of symptoms that may be caused by Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, a thyroid problem or medication side-effect just to name a few.  According to the Alzheimer's Association, dementia or dementia-like symptoms can include:

  • Memory loss

  • problems with language

  • Confusion

  • Changes in visual of spatial perception

  • Poor or decreased judgement

  • Problems with thinking, planning and organizing tasks

  • Changes in mood or behavior

  • changes in personality

What is Alzheimer's?

Alzheimer's Disease is the most common and serious type of dementia. Alzheimer's Disease causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. While researchers continue to search for a cure- there is no cure for Alzheimer's Disease. However, many of the symptoms associated with Alzheimer's and dementia are very treatable. The Alzheimer's Association is wonderful resource for those seeking treatment options and more information .


How to get a proper diagnosis:

At the moment, there is no one size fits all test for Alzheimer's disease or related dementias. While your primary care physician can help you determine a cause and course of treatment for memory related issues,  Susan Antkowiak with the Alzheimer's Association recommends getting more than one opinion before accepting a diagnosis. The video clip below was recorded at RiverWoods during the Alzheimer's Association presentation, "Knowing the Difference: Senior Moments vs Alzheimer's Disease"

 


 

Treatment Options:

Unfortunately there is no cure for Alzheimer's Disease, but there are treatment options available including diet, exercise and medications.  During her recent presentation at RiverWoods, Susan Antkowiak of the Alzheimer's Association outlined some of the following health suggetsions for promoting good health including diet, exercise, lifestyle, mental and social activity.

Diet:

  • Low fat, low cholesterol

  • Dark green leafy vegetables

  • Omega 3 fatty acids: fish, flax, nuts

  • Antioxidants: Vit C and Vit E: berries, almonds

  • Folic Acid and B vitamins: beans, cereals, poultry

Excercise:

  • Builds endurance

  • Muscle strength

  • Sharpens reaction time

  • Improves balance and coordination

  • Enhances mood and self image

  • Could decrease depression and anxiety

Lifestyle:

  • Avoiding unhealthy habits like smoking and heavy drinking

  • Wear seat belts and helmets

  • Manage stress

  • Managing the numbers: Blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and weight

Mental and Social Activity:

  • Keeping the brain active by 'stretching' the brain and learning new things- a language, an instrument, crosswords

  • Staying invloved- belonging to a group with a mission, volunteering

  • Keeping a purpose in life- Having a passion and finding balance 

 The Alzheimer's Association also has an extensive online library of treatment information that can be found by clicking here.

 


Additional Resources: Alzheimer's and Memory Care:

Alzheimer's Association The Alzheimer's Association has a wealth of helpful information and links on the topic and even has a 24/7 helpline you can call for more information, referrals and support: 800-272-3900

 


Visit the RiverWoods Resource page for adult children and parents about discussing future health care needs.