Alzheimer’s Awareness Month: What You Need to Know

Alzheimer’s Awareness Month: What You Need to Know

November 11, 2021

November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and the team at Heather Glen Senior Living wanted to offer some details to help recognize early signs of Alzheimer’s in your loved one—as well as what steps to take after diagnosis. 

What is Alzheimer’s disease? 

Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes problems with memories, thinking and behavior. It’s the most common cause of dementia, which is the general term for memory loss and other cognitive issues serious enough to interfere with daily life. While the disease typically affects people over the age of 65 and its greatest known risk factor is increasing age, it is not a normal part of the aging process. The disease is progressive, and will only worsen over time. 

What are the signs and symptoms? 

The early signs of Alzheimer’s are tricky to catch, so it’s important to pay extra attention to your loved one’s memory, reasoning skills and general mood—especially after 65. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, these are the ten early signs and symptoms of the disease. 

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  • Challenges in planning or solving problems 
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks 
  • Confusion with time or place
  • Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships 
  • New problems with words in speaking or writing
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps 
  • Decreased or poor judgment 
  • Withdrawal from work or social activities 
  • Changes in mood and personality 

If you notice one or more of these signs in your loved one, it’s vital that you get them to schedule an appointment with their doctor. Medical professionals can evaluate their current state and provide some insight and advice moving forward. 

How can I help my loved one after diagnosis? 

Unfortunately, even with millions of dollars of research over the past few decades, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. There’s plenty of treatments that can temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s. A newer treatment, Aducanumab, is an FDA-approved therapy that is reasonably likely to reduce cognitive and functional decline. 

There’s plenty of ways you can help your loved one after their diagnosis. The first thing you, caregivers and other people they spend time with should do is learn more about the disease and how it progresses. Encourage them to seek regular medical care with their doctor or a medical provider who specializes in memory care. You can also speak to them about their current living situation, and how a personal care community with a dedicated memory care community can be their best option. 

Where can my loved one get the best care? 

Heather Glen Senior Living is a premier personal care community in the greater Lehigh Valley area. The Memory Care Community is designed with four neighborhoods, each providing a safe and secure homelike environment for residents.  

Memory care amenities include a specialty-trained staff that is available 24/7, on-site rehab therapy, life enrichment programming and access to on-site medical professionals. Our memory care residents enjoy their time exercising in the secured therapy garden, viewing the bird aviary and working on their cognitive skills in the multi-sensory room. 

Alzheimer’s Awareness Month is an ideal time to consider the best options for your loved one. To schedule a personalized tour of Heather Glen’s Memory Care Community, contact us online or give us a call at (610) 841-4478. 

Ask Kim & Jessica