Throughout our lives, we look toward our parents for guidance, support, and protection. As we stumble and fall, they’re almost always there to pick us up and help us learn our lessons. For people who are lucky enough to have their parents with them during all of life’s major milestones, a painful truth can appear when the tables start to turn, and the child has to become the caretaker.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease can cause devastating effects on family and friends. These illnesses often present many signs and symptoms, although individuals who exhibit slow progression may not set off red flags for those who interact with them on a daily basis.
If you’re concerned that your friend or loved one may be suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, here are some signs that may indicate a need for professional assistance:
Loss of Memory in Terms of Everyday Activities
Daily prescriptions, weekly appointments, and everyday activities are part of many people’s lives, but when memory loss starts settling in, even the most mundane and normal of tasks may be forgotten. Perhaps your loved one skipped a dose of important medication, or maybe he or she didn’t make it to the weekly book club meeting. If regularly scheduled situations are repeatedly missed, it may be time for professional intervention.
Routine Tasks Become Frustrating
If a monthly bill-paying session becomes cumbersome or frustrating, this may be a sign of a bigger problem. Persons with dementia or Alzheimer’s often find it difficult to concentrate, and they may be unable to follow otherwise familiar procedures such as adhering to recipes or paying their creditors.
Inability to Drive
Many adult-aged children dread being faced with the responsibility of taking the keys away from their parents. It’s a terrifying truth that can have devastating results if the warning signs are ignored. A parent suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s may become lost in the most familiar of environments, and a slow reaction time could lead to injuries or death as a result. It is imperative that at-risk adults have their keys taken away as a means of protecting both the driver and the public at large.
Confusion with Familiar Things
Forgetting the rules of a game or being confused by familiar tasks can signify warning signs of dementia. Persons suffering this illness may also lose track of dates or suddenly misunderstand the situation they’re currently in.
Repetition and Word Replacement
Joining or following a conversation may become difficult, and some people with Alzheimer’s may make up words to fill the gap. If your loved one begins repeating him or herself, or if simple phrases like “watch” are replaced with “wrist clock”, it may be time to seek professional assistance.
If you’re concerned that your parent or loved one might be experiencing dementia or suffering from Alzheimer’s, it’s best to speak to a licensed professional right away. If confusion and disarray are becoming normal to this person’s daily life, he or she needs someone who is willing and able to take charge and help them seek the help they need. For more information, consider scheduling an appointment with a mental health professional who can help you and your loved one determine the best course of action.