From the second the door swings open and your elderly family member wraps you in a warm embrace, through the festive holiday meal and each timeless family tradition, opportunities abound for not only quality time together, but additionally to evaluate how your parent is really doing.
In particular, it is important to watch for possible cognitive problems, which may indicate Alzheimer’s disease. Because Alzheimer’s is starting to become increasingly common in older adults, and because timely diagnosis and treatment are key, Atlanta Home Care Partners, Atlanta Alzheimer’s care providers for the surrounding communities, suggests monitoring for the following signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease during your holiday visit this year:
1. Social differences. As outlined by John Ramsay, CEO of Shift 8,“Dementia can cause people to become closed-off, avoiding any sense of social interaction.” Take note of any hints in both the senior’s conduct and conversations that point to his or her preference for reclusiveness and isolation, particularly if the individual has always appreciated socializing.
2. Mood shifts. Depression, anxiety, and apathy are common aspects of dementia. The illness has an effect on a person’s ability to process and overcome emotions, often times caused by the inability to remember what triggered an adverse emotion, leading to increased aggravation.
3. Memory loss. Difficulties with memory are at the heart of Alzheimer’s disease, specifically, short-term memory. Note whether or not the senior appears to have a problem with present-day occurrences, but is able to fully be involved in conversations about the past.
4. Problems with re-structured routines. Recognizing a sense of disorientation, anxiety or agitation is common through the holiday season, with its probability of disruptions to the usual routine. Individuals with Alzheimer’s have a tendency to depend greatly on familiarity and will seem out of sorts when deviating from the usual.
5. Physical changes. Note any evidence of a decrease in hygiene or in the cleanliness and organization of the house, especially if the senior has until now been thorough in keeping a sense of order.
Any worries such as these should be brought to the attention of the senior’s primary care physician as quickly as possible.
And, it is beneficial to have a trustworthy dementia home care partner readily available who is familiar with the nuances of dementia as well as other challenges of aging, and will provide the professional help which enables aging parents to stay safe and well. Call our Atlanta Alzheimer’s care team at (404) 228-0103 to learn more about our highly-skilled, professional dementia home care team as well as a free of charge in-home consultation to discover how we can help. View our full service area here.