Message from Mary Nordtvedt, RN, BSN
Faith Community Nurse

Mary

Mary Nordtvedt

From Your Faith Community Nurse ...

 

Senior Moments

 

Everyone forgets things at times. We may laugh and say, “Senior Moment”.

Mayoclinic.org states, “Some degree of memory problems, as well as a modest decline in other thinking skills, is a fairly common part of aging. There's a difference, however, between normal changes in memory and memory loss associated with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders. Some memory problems are the result of treatable conditions.”

Memory loss that disrupts daily life may be a symptom of Alzheimer's or other dementia. Alzheimer's is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia. Alzheimer’s is a specific disease. Dementia is not.

Listed below are 10 warning signs and symptoms of memory loss as described by the Alzheimer’s Association, https://alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/10_signs  If you notice any of them, don't ignore them. Take Action!!! Schedule an appointment with your doctor.

 

1. MEMORY LOSS THAT DISRUPTS DAILY LIFE. One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s disease, especially in the early stage, is forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates or events, asking the same question over and over again, or increasingly needing to rely on memory aids.

2. CHALLENGES IN PLANNING OR SOLVING PROBLEMS. Some people living with dementia may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers.

3. DIFFICULTY COMPLETING FAMILIAR TASKS. People living with Alzheimer’s disease often find it hard to complete routine tasks. Sometimes they may have trouble driving to a familiar location, organizing a grocery list or remembering the rules of a favorite game.

4. CONFUSION WITH TIME OR PLACE. People living with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time.  Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there.

5. TROUBLE UNDERSTANDING VISUAL IMAGES AND SPATIAL RELATIONSHIPS. For some people, vision problems are a sign of Alzheimer’s. They may also have problems judging distance and determining color or contrast, causing issues with driving.

6. NEW PROBLEMS WITH WORDS IN SPEAKING OR WRITING. People living with Alzheimer’s may have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue, or repeat themselves.

7. MISPLACING THINGS AND LOSING THE ABILITY TO RETRACE STEPS. A person living with Alzheimer’s may put things in unusual places. He or she may accuse others of stealing.

8. DECREASED OR POOR JUDGMENT. Individuals may experience changes in judgment or decision-making. Such as when dealing with money, or paying less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean.

9. WITHDRAWAL FROM WORK OR SOCIAL ACTIVITIES. A person living with Alzheimer’s may experience changes in the ability to hold or follow a conversation. They may withdraw from hobbies, social activities or other engagements.

10. CHANGES IN MOOD AND PERSONALITY. Individuals living with Alzheimer’s may experience mood and personality changes. They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends or when out of their comfort zone.

 

Early diagnosis offers many benefits … if any of these symptoms are present, make an appointment with your doctor.

 

Additional Resources that may be helpful:

¨ For tips on how to have a conversation, visit alz.org/memoryconcerns. 

¨ To learn what an evaluation will include: alz.org/evaluatememory

¨ Call the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline (800.272.3900)

¨ Visit alz.org/10signs.

¨ To print a worksheet :https://alz.org/media/Documents/10-signs-worksheet.pdf

 

Resources will be available at the Health Ministry Table. I invite you to call me with questions or if you would like to meet to discuss memory loss.

 

--Mary

 

 

Nurse corner

Last Published: September 13, 2019 2:39 PM
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