via BlackDoctor:

Chances are, you have a friend or relative caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. Not only are the numbers of new cases climbing, people are being diagnosed at younger ages than ever before.

With statistics that staggering, it’s only natural to find yourself watching a parent or loved one and wondering if perhaps they’re showing signs of having it.

If so, here are a few tips that may help you navigate through the first steps:

1. The First Important Step…

Although still incurable, an early Alzheimer’s diagnosis might help to add a little more precious time with the loved one you remember as well as allow them more time to enjoy the life they love and cherish with family.

It’s also very important to note that not all cases are the same. There are many different forms of Alzheimer’s, each with its own unique symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. That is why getting a professional diagnosis is of the utmost importance.

2. Separate Fear From Fact

Mom losing her keys a little more often is not a sign of impending dementia or Alzheimer’s. Mom begins losing her way home on a route she takes daily is something to discuss with the family physician. Dad repeating his favorite stories at every special family occasion is not a cause for alarm. Dad repeating the same thing over and over within the span of one short conversation is something to be noted. Normally cool and calm dad becoming a bit more irritable may bear watching more closely.

Cool, calm Dad suddenly accusing other family members of stealing his personal possessions is something to be concerned enough about to make an appointment with the family physician.

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