Do you think you are too young for Alzheimer’s? You might be surprised to know that symptoms of the disease can strike as early as in your 40s or 50s.
If you are thinking that you are too young to have Alzheimer’s, you may well be, but there is still a chance that you could be one of the 5.4 million Americans living with the disease.
Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia where brain cells degenerate and die, causing problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. An estimated 3.4 million women are living with the disease. Most people get it after age 65; but up to 5% (roughly 200,000 Americans) start suffering early. As early as their 40s and 50s. The symptoms sneak up slowly, but eventually start to interfere with your quality of life.
9 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s
The following 9 warning signs should help you determine whether you should be speaking to your doctor:
1. Do you forget what you had for breakfast? There are degrees of forgetfulness that help define Alzheimer’s. Not recalling learned information, for example, could be cause for concern. Alzheimer’s first attacks the part of the brain that stores short-term memory. So asking for the same information over and over could be cause for concern.
2. Do you lose track of numbers? Tasks that once were easy for you, such as balancing your checkbook, paying bills, etc. become frustrating and seem to take forever. As Alzheimer’s develops, more and more plaques and tangles – two abnormal structures that damage and kill nerve cells – form in the brain and they are frequently damaging parts involved in thinking and planning. So you get confused more easily, you have trouble handling money or dealing with numbers, and it becomes more strenuous to organize your thoughts.
3. Do you get flustered by routine activities? Getting lost on a regular route, or not being able to remember how to update a facebook status. Everyone has lapses, but if these become frequent issues, speaking with your doctor is imperative.
4. Do you hit the brakes hard at most traffic lights? Alzheimer’s can disrupt your ability to judge spatial relationships, skewing your understanding of what you see, and even sometimes mess with your sense of time and space.
5. Do you find “lost” items in the refrigerator? Or any other weird spot you can’t remember putting it? Occasionally misplacing items is normal; what isn’t normal is if you do it more and more frequently and retracing your steps to find the lost items occurs less and less.
6. Do you call a watch a hand clock? Struggling with words when you never did before indicates Alzheimer’s, as does trouble expressing your thoughts and following or taking part in a conversation.
7. Have you tried to cross a busy intersection without waiting for the light? Do you see food burning on the stove and not know what to do? Poor judgment and ineffective decision-making are all signs your brain function is compromised.
8. Have you become less social? The class you used to love isn’t much fun anymore. Seeing friends or going out on weekends is less appealing. You may also become easily upset, somewhat depressed, and anxious or fearful for no specific reason. Alzheimer’s affects how you interact with people and can cause changes in your mood and personality.
9. Do you have diabetes? That doubles your risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Insulin resistance and high blood sugar may lead to complications that damage brain cells as well as the blood vessels that bring oxygen and nutrients to your brain, raising your risk of Alzheimer’s. Other conditions that may have the same effect include high blood pressure, heart disease, and high cholesterol. Work with your doctor to manage these diseases.
The most significant risk factor in Alzheimer’s disease is age.
The most significant risk factor in Alzheimer’s disease is age. By the year 2050 the sheer number of people 85 and older will be unprecedented. The time is now to make changes that are healthy and may impact your risk for this debilitating disease.
About Cleansing Water, Inc.
Cleansing Water, Inc. is a Warrenton, Virginia home health care agency offering professional geriatric care and serving seniors, individuals recovering from surgery, individuals with long-term disabilities, and other clients throughout Fauquier, Culpeper, Gainesville, Haymarket, Middleburg, Prince William, Rappahannock and other Piedmont Virginia communities. We provide in-home companions, certified nursing assistants, and geriatric care managers to assist with the tasks of daily living, monitor health and medications, and ensure clients are well cared for, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
For more information about Cleansing Water’s short-term and long-term home health care services, Call (540) 341-0212 or our toll-free number, (866) 294-4665, to schedule a consultation and discuss your geriatric care and home health care options. You can also visit CleansingWater.com for more information.