The average person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s will likely have been exhibiting some of the earliest signs and symptoms for between one and two years. Most of these early symptoms involve memory loss that begin to impact daily life. They might forget what they talked about with their spouse or a friend earlier in the day. They may step out of the bedroom to go and make something in the kitchen, completely forget what they were doing, and go off and do something else instead.
While these tidbits of memory loss may seem inconsequential compared to what will happen in the years ahead, it can still be frustrating. Some avoid going to their doctor for formal diagnosis because they don’t want to hear the ‘bad news.’ Others simply pass off these memory problems as the natural process of aging.
There’s a reason doctors recommend people be formally diagnosed early.
The sooner that people are diagnosed with something like Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, the earlier they can begin proper care. While there is no cure for this disease, there are certain strategies that could provide benefits as it progresses.
What kind of strategies could be beneficial?
While many people understand staying mentally active and engaged can reduce the risk of developing certain types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, they often assume that once a person has been diagnosed with this disease, since there is no cure, there’s really nothing to do other than deal with the consequences and symptoms as they progressively get more challenging.
In reality, there are certain studies that have shown mental stimulation early can help delay the onset of more serious aspects of memory loss, at least for a while (Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation). For example, if a person is constantly reading, studying, learning new things, taking on a new type of art form or activity like learning to play the piano, playing strategic thinking games, and so on, they are engaging their brain actively. That helps to possibly slow down the destruction of brain cells that are part of the process of Alzheimer’s.
If somebody is not formally diagnosed, they may have numerous questions about what it is they are dealing with, if there’s anything they could actually do to improve things, and they could be missing out on laying a strong foundation early on that can provide comfort and benefit to quality of life in the years ahead. A person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s has an average life expectancy of 8 to 10 years, upon diagnosis. Their life doesn’t end with that diagnosis; they can still take control and enjoy several years of decent, quality life.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Alzheimer’s care in Omaha, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.
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