Alzheimers Disease or Normal Aging Minneapolis

Normal Aging? Or Something Else . . .

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It’s an unsettling feeling when you start to see little signs that Dad isn’t himself. You start to come up with possible reasons – maybe he’s tired, Mom’s health has him worried, his aches and pains are just a part of aging, he forgot to take the trash out this week, unusual, but maybe he wasn’t feeling well. And the list of possibilities goes on. Deep down, something is churning in your gut – that feeling it might be time to start asking some questions. Is it dementia? Could this be the start of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Did you know that the brain is the only organ that has a unique characteristic that actually improves with age? Scientific beliefs have changed over time – it was once believed that the brain lost large amounts of brain cells and once they were gone, they were gone. What we know now is that the brain is a resilient organ that continues to grow cells just at a slower pace. So if that’s true, why is Dad behaving off lately. Is it normal aging or something else like the start of dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease?

Through their years of home care expertise, Lifesprk Life Care Managers, who are registered nurses, share what to look for when deciphering what’s normal and what’s cause for concern. As your loved one ages, changes occur in the brain but intellectual function remains the same. It’s normal for reaction time to slow and short-term memory to decrease (what was for dinner last night?). Perhaps your parent is having problems recognizing people’s faces (what was that woman’s name again?) or issues with balance, posture, gait, or even sleep patterns. While not always pleasant, these are not immediate causes for alarm.

So when should you be worried? Consider seeking an expert opinion, if your parent is showing any of these signs:

  • Challenges in problem solving or planning.
  • Can’t hold a job or volunteer work any longer.
  • Difficulty managing finances – more than just one month’s accidental miss on the mortgage.
  • Trouble maintaining a household – grass is overgrown, empty refrigerator with expired food or dirty clothes.
  • Personal hygiene is suffering – hair isn’t combed, dirty hands/face and clothes or difficulty going to the bathroom.
  • Extreme irritability or mood swings.
  • No longer interested in meeting with friends or continuing with things they were once passionate about.

It may be nothing to worry about and something nurses or case managers can quickly address or it might be something more serious that will require proactive planning to keep your aging parent safe and healthy long-term. Whatever your concerns, call and schedule an expert consultation and get the support and peace of mind you need to keep your aging parents living healthier, independent lives.

Make sure you don’t miss a thing! Sign-up for our Seek On blog and stay connected with tips, resources and great articles all to spark your loved one to keep them healthier and independent longer.

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