You altogether forgot about the doctor’s appointment scheduled for last week, misplaced your sunglasses for the umpteenth time, and cannot remember the name of your new neighbor for the life of you. Is all of this simply an ordinary part of growing older, or could the link between early onset Alzheimer’s disease and forgetfulness be a warning sign of dementia ?
The worry about developing dementia is common; and increasing, as Alzheimer’s has gained increasing awareness, leading to worries about our own possible decrease of functionality and independence, along with memory difficulties. Additionally, it raises questions about future care and living arrangements, if the time should come that support is needed to stay safe and to take care of daily needs.
While Alzheimer’s and forgetfulness can appear similar, it’s important to understand that there are multiple triggers for forgetfulness which happen to be completely unconnected to Alzheimer’s, and some amount of memory impairment is simply part and parcel of aging. Recent statistics show that only 5% of older adults ages 71 – 79 actually have dementia, although that number increases to 37% for people aged 90 and over.
The first step is to consult with your primary care physician about any cognitive impairment you are experiencing, so you can receive a detailed diagnosis and treatment. Prior to your appointment, make a note of details such as:
- When the impairment began
- Whether it was a gradual or sudden decline
- If it is affecting day to day life: eating, getting dressed, taking care of personal hygiene needs, etc.
The doctor will want to eliminate problems that can mimic dementia – such as depression and delirium – as well as determine if the problem might originate from medication side effects. Dementia progresses slowly, and in addition to memory deficits, may affect the ability to:
- Reason, judge, and problem-solve
- Focus and pay attention
For individuals diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, or any other condition that affects the ability to manage daily life independently, JFS Care is always here to provide as much or as little help as needed by thoroughly trained and experienced care professionals. A few of the many ways we are able to help older adults with Alzheimer’s or any other challenges remain safe, comfortable, and independent at home include:
- Assistance with personal care needs, like showering and getting dressed
- Transportation to medical appointments and enjoyable outings
- Running errands
- Meal planning and preparation
- Household tasks
- Engaging activities and socialization
- And a lot more
Reach out to us at (213) 383-2273 or fill out our online contact form for a complimentary in-home consultation to learn more about our in-home care services in Santa Monica and other surrounding areas. For more information about all of the areas we serve in California, please visit our Service Area page.