A disease that affects memory and thinking ability, and is the most common cause of dementia.
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Your loved one is confused or disoriented. Is it signs of dementia? How you can help.
By IU Health Senior Journalist T.J. Banes, email@example.com
He lives alone. He still drives and he cooks his meals. But there are little clues that maybe he is sometimes confused. How can you help keep your loved one safe?
“We know there are many types of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common. A lot of symptoms and behaviors are undiagnosed,” said Erica Newkirk, a clinical nurse specialist at IU Health West. With a special interest in the geriatric population, Newkirk has learned to recognize early signs of dementia.
June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month – a time to become familiar with signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s and how family members can help their loved one cope. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease. In the early stages, patients may show mild signs of memory loss. As the disease progresses, it can impair a patient’s ability to communicate or respond. The Alzheimer Association reports there are 50 million people worldwide living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
“Maybe your dad can live alone, drive and prepare his meals, but is there a chance he could forget to turn off the stove leading to a fire?” asks Newkirk. The only way to know is to remain engaged with the loved one, she said.
Here are a few tips:
Family members should also take advantage of community resources to help their loved ones, said Newkirk. For more information contact Newkirk at firstname.lastname@example.org, or the Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Indiana Chapter.