No one likes talking about Alzheimer’s disease, but I am a firm believer in being educated on topics that may one day affect myself or my loved ones. Even though sometimes I like to pretend everyone I care about is invincible, it’s just not the reality. Many people think the forgetful person in their life is “just getting old and senile.” Before I became educated on this disease, that was a phrase that often came from my own mouth. But then my grandfather was diagnosed with dementia (which is caused by Alzheimer’s disease and/or other related neurological diseases). My family was dumbfounded. Why? Because we were not educated and not equipped to discern the warning signs that my grandfather clearly displayed.
Now it is true that in time, our brains (like our joints and muscles) tend to slow down with age. However, there are some red flags to be aware of that may indicate something more serious is going on. The two most common being:
- Problems remembering recent information (repeating the same questions over and over)
- Inability to complete basic routine tasks (washing clothes, cooking, balancing checkbook)
These are difficulties that arise in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Some aspects may be so simple that they are deemed insignificant by those around them. Pay attention. Seek help. I encourage you to educate yourself on Alzheimer’s disease research. As humans are living longer into their eighties and nineties, the number of people affected by this disease will continue to grow.
And if you are in the Lafayette, Louisiana area, please sign up for a local Walk to End Alzheimer’s here.
Brittany Fontenot, M.A., CCC-SLP
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.