The most common reason people call my office seeking in-home care is that the caller is responsible for a loved one suffering from dementia and that loved one can’t be left alone. One of the most important things we can ask when dealing with loved ones as they age is “what are the early warning signs of dementia?”
Throughout this article, I will be using the term “dementia”. Alzheimer’s and dementia are not the same things. Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia but there are numerous other types of dementia. I will be using the more inclusive term dementia but what I am saying applies to Alzheimer’s also.
One of the most common ways people become aware that a loved one may be experiencing dementia-related issues is an inability to handle what previously had been simple daily tasks. Dementia sufferers often have difficulty making seasonally appropriate clothing choices. Another clothing related issue we often see is wearing the same outfit over and over. Maybe the clothing they wear is not kept clean. Hygiene is another common clue. Someone who has always paid attention to personal appearance is not bathing regularly or at all. Maybe they spent time every morning putting makeup on and preparing themselves before the day started but suddenly they are no longer doing so and don’t seem to care.
Where does one go if one has questions about whether or not a loved one may be suffering from dementia? Start with the family doctor. He/she might refer you to a specialist like a neurologist or a geriatric psychiatrist. This topic, like most I talk about in these articles, is much more complex than can be adequately covered in 500 +/- words. For more information, I encourage you to visit the Alzheimer’s Association at www.alz.org.
Tim Golden is the owner of BrightStar Care, Lawrenceville. You can reach Tim at (404)281-1537 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information please visit http://www.brightstarcare.com/lawrenceville/
PO Box 634
Lawrenceville, GA 30046