Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Health

September 20, 2013

Alzheimer’s Association presentation offers valuable information

GREENSBURG — Kristi McCann, a representative from the Indianapolis branch of the Alzheimer’s Association gave a presentation about the disease Tuesday evening at the Greensburg Public Library.

After a brief welcome, McCann began by covering the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. Each case of Alzheimer’s and dementia is different and an individual may experience some or all of the warning signs in varying degrees of intensity.

The first warning sign is memory loss that disrupts daily life, especially recently learned information. A typical age-related change might involve sometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later. However, if one is forgetting important dates and events, asking for the same information repeatedly and increasingly relying on memory aids for things previously done independently, it may be an indicator.

Challenges in planning or solving problems is another warning sign. Some may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. While occasionally making an error when balancing a checkbook is a normal age-related change, having trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills may be a signal of an underlying problem. Difficulty concentrating and taking much longer than before to complete familiar tasks are also indicators of a problem.

Experiencing difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, work or leisure is another warning sign of Alzheimer’s or dementia. Some common issues have been trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work or remembering the rules to a favorite game. Comparably, needing occasional help to use the settings on a microwave or to record a television show are normal age-related changes.

Confusion with time or place is a common sign of Alzheimer’s or dementia. Those afflicted with the disease often lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. If something is not happening immediately, they may have trouble understanding it.

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