Age affects us all eventually and some of those effects are quite detrimental to our wellbeing. Unfortunately, a heightened risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease happens to be one of the most common detrimental effects of aging. Since age itself is not a direct cause, but just one of the contributing factors, it is at times possible to delay the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by taking heed of the early warning signs. Let’s take a quick look through some of those next.
Dysphagia or swallowing difficulty is one of the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s disease, and just like most of the other symptoms of Alzheimer’s, it will gradually get worse, especially if no steps are taken to manage the situation. Nevertheless, the following symptoms of dysphagia are to be taken seriously and the elder must be checked for other signs of Alzheimer’s by a physician.
- Frequent bouts of coughing and choking while eating meals and/or drinking water.
- Complaints of feeling that food is stuck in their throat or the oesophagus.
- Weight loss due to fear of choking and public embarrassment.
It is extremely common for elders suffering from dementia to get lost even in their hometown or neighbourhood. During the early stages, they will still be able to come back home after a while, but it’s always a huge risk. Several seniors with dementia are grievously injured and/or killed every year while wandering around aimlessly.
If you see any signs that someone close to you is getting lost on their way to somewhere, or while coming back home, they may no longer be capable of living unassisted without endangering their own life. They may no longer be capable of driving either. A care home for seniors would be your best bet to keep them safe and cared for. If you are in Nottinghamshire, have a look at this Mansfield care home – bailyhouse.co.uk.
Temporary Lapses in Long-Term Memory
Some of us have poor memory from the start and it can get worse with age. However, that is a part of the natural aging process and unless there is another medical factor that’s aggravating memory loss, aging generally does not affect people’s long-term memories (LTM). On the other hand, if the memory loss is an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease, it will often be an instance of temporary lapses in long term memory.
For example, an elder forgetting to wish someone close on their birthday may or may not be a sign of dementia, but if they are unable to recall the person’s birthday even on being asked, that is a clear sign of long-term memory loss brought on by neurodegeneration. If the disease has not progressed too far yet, they should be able to recall it later, or as soon as someone else mentions it.
Another example would be that of failing to recognize a family member’s face or name that they live with, at least for a few seconds to a few minutes. Since Alzheimer’s is the number one cause for neurodegenerative LTM loss among seniors in UK, there is a high probability of the disease being responsible when temporary loss of LTM is observed.
During the early stages, events such as these will only seem like a temporary lapse in memory, but the senior will lose that memory completely in the latter stages if they have undiagnosed and untreated Alzheimer’s. Treatment will not cure the disease unfortunately, but it can slow down the progress to some extent. It’s extremely important to book a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible to get a medical diagnosis and go through all possible avenues of Alzheimer’s disease management.