Submitted by Public Health Nurse, Julie Genova, PHN, Health and Human Services Department.
June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month and the Dementia Friendly Bedford Initiative is working to identify ways to support community members facing symptoms of dementia or caring for a loved one with dementia related symptoms.
Currently, there are six million Americans living with Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia that affects memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms eventually grow severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.
In its early stages, the progressive disease causes memory loss that is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer’s, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment. Getting checked by your healthcare provider can help determine if the symptoms you are experiencing are related to Alzheimer’s disease, or more treatable conditions such as a vitamin deficiency or a side effect from medication.
Early and accurate diagnosis also provides opportunities for you and your family to consider financial planning, develop advance directives, enroll in clinical trials, and anticipate care needs.
Whether you’re concerned for yourself or someone you care about, it’s important to know the warning signs of dementia so you can ensure an early diagnosis. Here are 10 of the most common warning signs for dementia.
10 Warning Signs of Dementia:
- Memory loss that affects day-to-day abilities.
- Difficulty performing familiar tasks.
- with language.
- Disorientation to time and place.
- Impaired judgment.
- Problems with abstract thinking.
- Misplacing things.
- Changes in mood and behavior.
- Changes in personality.
- Loss of initiative.
Whether you are experiencing symptoms or are caring for a loved one with dementia, you are not alone. Help and support is available through local resources:
- Alzheimer’s Association https://www.alz.org/help-support 1-800-272-3900 This is a 24/7 helpline
- Bedford Council on Aging https://bedfordma.gov/518/Council-on-Aging (781) 275-6825
- Bedford Library https://bedfordlibrary.net 781-275-9440
- Bedford Police Safe Watch Program https://www.bedfordma.gov/224/Police 781-275-1212
- Dementia Friendly America Massachusetts https://dfmassachusetts.org
- Minuteman Senior Services https://www.minutemansenior.org (781) 272-7177