June is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

National Alzheimer's Awareness Month

Most of us know someone who is affected by Alzheimer’s disease. This heartbreaking and debilitating disease affects as many as 5.5 million Americans 65 year and older.

Ever kick yourself for forgetting someone’s name, or losing the next word in a sentence?

It’s important to know that forgetfulness in itself does not mean you have dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease.  So what is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia. Neither dementia or Alzheimer’s are a normal part of aging. Dementia impairs the ability to remember, make decisions, and perform daily activities. Alzheimer’s often begins with mild memory loss, and is characterized by a progressive decline of memory, mood, and abilities.

In addition to memory problems, someone with symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease may experience one or more of the following:

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life, such as getting lost in a familiar place or repeating questions.
  • Trouble handling money and paying bills.
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure.
  • Decreased or poor judgment.
  • Misplacing things and being unable to retrace steps to find them.
  • Changes in mood, personality, or behavior.

There is still a lot to be learned about the causes, prevention and treatment of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, but here are a few ways to reduce your risk:

  • Make sure to control your blood pressure and blood sugar
  • Stop smoking!
  • Decrease alcohol consumption
  • Moderate intensity aerobic exercise for 30min per day, five times per week
  • Healthy diet (MIND/ Mediterranean/DASH)
  • Engage in social activities
  • Stretch your brain! By reading, doing puzzles, games, or learning something new
  • Seek treatment for depression

Below are a few resources for individuals and family members affected by Alzheimer’s disease:

If you, or someone you love, are concerned about memory loss, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider today to discuss memory screening and potential treatments.

Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash

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