Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia affecting over 5.5 million Americans and at least 44 million people worldwide. Alzheimer’s is incurable and progressively destroys memory and other important mental functions in older adults. One in three seniors die from Alzheimer’s or dementia which makes it deadlier than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. However, treatments have been proven help with dementia and early detection and diagnosis is vitally important.
10 early signs of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the following 10 early signs of Alzheimer’s please contact a Houston memory disorder specialist at OakBend Medical Center immediately at 281-238-7880.
1. Memory Loss affecting day-to-day abilities – Occasionally forgetting names or appointments is normal for most adults but, it is also the first sign of Alzheimer’s disease. Forgetting things often and the inability to retain new information is very common at the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Sufferers will ask the same questions over and over and be forced to write everything down before they forget it. Early detection matters so do not ignore the warning signs.
2. Confusion with time or place – getting lost in familiar places or not knowing which day of the week it is.
3. Misplacing things – putting things in strange places, like putting a cell phone in the freezer or the car keys in the pantry. This usually happens more often as the dementia progresses.
4. Challenges in Solving Problems – not understanding how to work with numbers or difficulty in budgeting or keeping track of monthly bills. It can aslo be more difficult to concentrate or stay on task.
5. Difficulty completing normal everyday tasks – not remembering how to do something they have been doing their entire life, such as getting dressed or cooking a favorite meal.
6. Vision or hearing problems – having trouble reading or not being able to judge distances or colors which may cause driving problems. This can also include seeing or hearing things that are no one else does.
7. Speaking or writing problems – forgetting names or words or using incorrect words which do not match the context of the conversation.
8. Poor or decreased judgement – not recognizing a problem that needs immediate attention or wearing inappropriate clothing on a cold or hot day.
9. Isolation from friends, family or work – depressed moods and decreases in social interactions. A person with Alzheimer’s might stop doing their hobbies or following their favorite sports teams.
10. Changes in personality – behaving out of normal character. Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide. Inability to accept to adjust to change or losses. This can also include feelings or paranoia or helplessness.
What is a Senior Behavioral Health Unit?
The in-patient, hospital-based Senior Behavioral Health Unit at OakBend Medical Center is committed to providing a caring and supportive experience for all of its patients. Patients are cared for around-the-clock by a trained team of professionals. The team first assesses the behavioral and medical needs of each patient. After assessment, the team will develop an individualized treatment plan. The team also assesses progress throughout the visit and adjusts treatment plans when necessary. Patients will learn to cope with the challenges and stressors that aging can bring while also receiving treatment for specific mental health disorders.
Family involvement in treatment of Alzheimer’s and dementia
At OakBend Medical center, family therapy sessions are strongly encouraged for each patient and their family which provides education, information on the course of treatment, on-going resources, and discharge planning for long-term treatment plans. Participation from family members can have a large impact on a patient’s recovery and wellbeing.
For a consultation with one of the trained Alzheimer’s or dementia professionals at OakBend Medical Center please call 281-238-7880. For more information, please click here to view the brochure for the Senior Behavioral Health Unit at OakBend Medical Center.