If you have difficulty remembering words and names or recalling once familiar places or people, you might need to see your doctor.
It's a scary thought, and diagnosis is best left to medical professionals who conduct a physical examination, review family history and do a blood test to rule out other causes for common symptoms.
Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Those with Alzheimer's live 8-20 years after their symptoms become noticeable to others, depending on age and other health conditions.
If you have it in the early stages, you'll find that memory loss is mild and you will have good days and bad days. One of the most important things you can do if diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer's is to get legal, financial and care plans in place. Doing so allows you to share your wishes for future decisions, and also allows time to work through the complex issues that are involved in long-term care.
This is also the time to consider future safety topics, such as what to do when driving is no longer an option.
As Alzheimer's worsens, there's a danger of becoming confused and wandering off.
For this reason, you might want to accept the unpleasant reality that you need help.
That help is available at Maybelle Carter Retirement Life Community's Remembrance Village, where caregivers are specially trained to help seniors faced with dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
We have licensed nurses on staff 24/7 and 3 dietitian-approved meals, plus snacks, throughout the day. We help the senior manage their medication and assist with dressing, bathing and grooming. State-of-the-art security protects residents from wandering off, and our newly designed accommodations create a stress-free, comfortable environment with less confusion. Residents can enjoy our private outdoor secured courtyard. Weekly personal laundry and linen services are also included.
For more information about Maybelle Carter Senior Living's Remembrance Village, visit http://maybellecarter.com/nashville-retirement-living-amenities/memory-care-madison-tn or call (615) 868-2290.
The Alzheimer's Association is organizing the 2014 Walk to End Alzheimer's in Nashville on Oct. 11 at the Public Square Park. The event raises money to help advance Alzheimer's support, care and research. To donate and/or participate, visit http://act.alz.org/site/TR/Walk2014/TN-MidSouth?fr_id=5429&pg=entry or volunteer with Andrew Jackson at (615) 315-5880.
Alzheimer's Association: http://www.alz.org/
The Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center: http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers
Alzheimer's Reading Room: http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/
The New York Times "New Old Age" Blog: http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/