Jan 15, 2018 by Clark Bongaardt
Dementia And Alzheimer’s Disease Home Care: Know the Difference
If we are lucky enough to have our parents well into their golden years, some of us will have to face the deterioration of their health. One neurological disorder is Alzheimer's Disease, but with early detection, you can get your parent the best treatment available and explore help that allows them to remain as independent as possible for a longer period of time.
Of course, some signs of mental deterioration is simply a common sign of aging or can be a sign of dementia. Here is what to look for in the early signs of Alzheimer's Disease vs the common signs of aging or dementia.
Memory Loss is a normal sign of aging, but that which disrupts normal everyday life should be a concern.
Problem Solving or Planning Issues
A normal sign of aging is perhaps having a problem with something like balancing a checkbook. However, if concentration is an issue or something as simple as not being able to follow a recipe they have always used, this may be cause for concern and an indication of Alzheimer's Disease.
Completing Normal Tasks
When we age, we need help with things that seem normal and easy to do. For instance, setting the video recorder or setting a timer on the oven.
Those are things that just go along with getting older. However, when it is part of Alzheimer's Disease, familiar tasks are harder, and these are ones that are normal such as driving to the doctor or remembering certain things like the rules to a game they love to play.
While aging, people may forget the day of the week then later recall what day it is. This happens to many people, not just older people. Those who may be displaying early signs of Alzheimer's Disease have a much more intense form of time confusion. They may forget the year, the season, and even the passing of time. This is why some people who have Alzheimer's Disease may forget where they are or something that hasn't happened immediately - or in the far past.
Anyone can misplace something no matter what age you are and especially someone who is older. However, those with symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease may accuse others of stealing items they have put somewhere - often in a place that is not the norm. For instance, placing a beloved vase under the bed or a piece of jewelry in the laundry area.
Mood changes are another indicator of this disease. A person who is simply experiencing the signs of aging may become upset when their routine is interrupted. Those who may have the disease display a different form of mood change.
Common moods include being depressed, suspicious, anxious, confused, and full of fear. Once the person is not within their usual comfort zone like within the home, these moods may surface and are not your typical age-related mood change.
Everyone makes a poor decision every so often, no matter what the age. Nevertheless, those with Alzheimer's Disease have an increase in poor judgment that is not the norm or not something that happens every so often.
For example, someone who gives a large amount of money to someone on television or spending a lot on a telemarketing scheme. They may also have issues with keeping up with personal hygiene. Anything that falls under the umbrella of poor judgment can be an indicator but should not be the only indicator since sometimes people simply make bad decisions on their own.
There are plenty of indicators of the early signs of Alzheimer's Disease including what has already been mentioned. Look out for a withdrawal from work or social activities, problems with words in writing or speaking, and anything that seems unusual from how your parent normally reacts. Some things are simply the signs of aging and are normal but if you see any of these indicators, have your parent see a doctor, and if you want to learn more about our home care agency, please contact us, Comfort Keepers at 610-543-6300.