November 6, 2020
You altogether forgot about the doctor’s appointment scheduled for last Friday, misplaced your keys for the umpteenth time, and cannot recall the name of the new neighbor for the life of you. Could it be Alzheimer’s or is all of this simply a regular part of getting older?
The worry about developing Alzheimer’s disease is not uncommon; and increasing, as Alzheimer’s has garnered growing awareness, resulting in anxieties about our own possible decrease of independence and functionality. It also raises questions about future care and living arrangements, if the time should come that assistance is needed to stay safe and to tend to daily needs.
Nevertheless, it is essential to understand that there are a number of reasons for a “senior moment” or forgetfulness that is completely unrelated to Alzheimer’s, and some level of memory impairment is merely part and parcel of aging. Recently available statistics show that only 5% of older adults ages 71 – 79 actually have dementia; however, that number increases to 37% for people aged 90 and over.
The initial step is to speak with your primary care doctor about any cognitive impairment you’re experiencing, so you can receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment. Prior to your appointment, pay attention to details such as:
- When the impairment began
- Whether it was a sudden or gradual decline
- If it is affecting everyday life: eating, getting dressed, taking care of personal hygiene needs, etc.
The physician will want to eliminate conditions that can mimic dementia – such as delirium and depression – as well as determine whether the problem might originate from treatment 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 dementia, or any other condition that affects the capacity to manage daily life independently, Continuum is always here to provide just as much or as little support as necessary by well trained and experienced care professionals. A few of the numerous ways we are able to help older adults with dementia or any other challenges remain safe, comfortable, and independent at home include:
- Assistance with personal care needs, like showering and dressing
- Transportation to medical appointments and enjoyable outings
- Running errands
- Meal planning and preparation
- Household duties
- Engaging activities and socialization
- And a lot more
For trusted help at home in St. Louis and the surrounding communities, reach out to Continuum at (314) 863-9912 for a complimentary in-home consultation and for more information on our top-rated home care services.