From the second the door swings open and your elderly parent wraps you in a warm hug, through the festive holiday meal and every timeless family tradition, possibilities abound for not just quality time together, but also to assess how your loved one is truly doing and if any warning flags are noticed.
In particular, a number of indications may imply cognitive issues, including Alzheimer’s disease. Because Alzheimer’s is starting to become increasingly common in seniors, and because early diagnosis and intervention are important, the dementia care team at North River Home Care advises checking for any of the following typical signs and symptoms of early Alzheimer’s disease throughout your holiday visit this season:
- Social changes. As stated by John Ramsay, CEO of Shift 8*, “Dementia can cause people to become closed-off, avoiding any sense of social interaction.” Pay attention to any hints both in the senior’s conduct and conversations that point to his or her inclination for reclusiveness and isolation, particularly if the individual has always cherished socializing.
- Mood shifts. Depression, anxiety, and apathy tend to be early elements of dementia. The disease impacts a person’s capacity to process and overcome emotions, often times the result of the inability to recall what prompted a bad feeling, leading to increased frustration.
- Loss of memory. Troubles with memory are at the heart of Alzheimer’s disease, notably, short-term memory. Notice whether or not the senior generally seems to have a problem with recalling recent events, but is able to fully take part in conversations in regards to the past.
- Difficulties with changed routines. Spotting a sense of disorientation, anxiety or agitation is not uncommon during the holiday season, because of the odds of disruptions to the normal routine. Individuals with Alzheimer’s have a tendency to rely greatly on familiarity and might seem out of sorts when deviating from the norm.
- Physical differences. Notice any proof of a decrease in hygiene or in the cleanliness and organization of the home, especially if the person has formerly been careful in maintaining a sense of order.
Any worries including these should be brought to the attention of the senior’s primary care physician as soon as possible.
And, it is helpful to have a dependable senior care partner readily available who is familiar with the intricacies of dementia and other issues of aging, and that can supply the professional help which makes it possible for aging parents to remain safe and well at home. Contact North River Home Care at (781) 659-1366 for more information on our highly skilled, specialized dementia care team as well as an in-home assessment to find out how we can help.