|10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer's
- Memory loss affects job skills.
- Difficulty performing familiar tasks such as cooking.
- Language difficulties.
- Disorientation to time and place.
- Personality changes.
- Poor judgment.
- Impaired abstract thinking (doing simple math or balance a checkbook).
- Misplacing things (putting keys in the trash, eyeglasses in the refrigerator, not being able to find a parked car).
- Rapid mood changes.
- Loss of interest in favorite activities like playing cards, socializing, cooking, etc.
Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia, destroys brain cells. It causes memory loss and problems with thinking and behavior. It’s a progressive disease and is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. There is no cure, but Gundersen’s Memory Center can offer treatments to improve symptoms and help find services to make life easier for patients and their families.
Alzheimer’s disease typically begins with the person:
- Forgetting things, such as not paying bills or paying them twice
- Not being able to balance a checkbook
- Not cooking or eating regularly
- Getting lost.
As the disease progresses, there are more noticeable memory problems, and skills are lost in other areas.
Medications can relieve symptoms of anxiety, irrational behavior, depression and sleep disturbance. The latest drugs slow memory loss, but there has been little success in treating the underlying disease.
Caring for a patient with Alzheimer’s disease can be very challenging. Families often need support to provide care for their loved ones. Gundersen’s Memory Center can help families find coordinated care. They will also help families connect with community resources such as advocacy and support groups, the Alzheimer’s Association, day care, and respite care.
Because the person with Alzheimer’s disease eventually loses the capability to make decisions, professionals in the Memory Center will discuss living wills, trusts, power of attorney, guardianship and other future needs with families.