ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — According to Alzheimer’s Disease International, as many as three fourths of the 36 million people who have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia have not been diagnosed. The average time between first symptoms and diagnosis is over two years.
When your aging parents keep losing their keys, how do you know if it’s just part of getting older?
“It’s difficult to differentiate Alzheimer’s dementia from normal aging because we all experience these memory slips as we age, so people tend to play them down,” said Gary Small, MD, Director of UCLA Longevity Center.
Time.com says that driving issues, such as struggling to find their way around an area they know or making inappropriate turns is a sign. Another sign of dementia is difficulty discerning right from wrong, and stealing or breaking other laws.
Susan Rosenfield, whose husband has Alzheimer’s, said “It has a profound effect on your ability to relate to people as well as yourself.”
Watch their eating behavior as well; before the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, patients often eat about 500 more calories a day, according to the editor-in-chief of the journal of Alzheimer’s disease. Also watch out for an inability to recognize sarcasm, frequent falls, depression, unfocused staring, or forgetting the function of objects.
“We found and many others have found that the earlier you can diagnose someone and treat them, the better their overall outcome,” said Dr. Small.
Early diagnosis is key to slow the onset of, Alzheimer’s so take the time to talk to your parent.
If you’re worried that your parent will be dismissive or angry when you bring up getting evaluated for Alzheimer’s, you can call their doctor and voice your concerns. Even though the doctor can’t share their findings with you, they can still perform an assessment.
Contributors to this news report include: Hayley Hudson, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor.
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