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June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, a time dedicated to increasing awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. With over 50 million people worldwide living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, it’s crucial to understand the early signs of these conditions and know when to seek professional advice. You can share this article to shed light on these aspects and provide valuable resources for caregivers.

Early Signs of Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Recognizing the early signs of Alzheimer’s can lead to a timely diagnosis, which is essential for managing the disease and planning for the future. Some of the early symptoms to watch for include:

  • Memory Loss: Frequently forgetting recently learned information or important dates and events.
  • Difficulty Planning or Solving Problems: Struggling to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers, such as keeping track of monthly bills.
  • Confusion with Time or Place: Losing track of dates, seasons, and the passage of time. Sometimes forgetting where they are or how they got there.
  • Challenges with Understanding Visual Information: Difficulty reading, judging distance, and determining color or contrast, which may cause problems with driving.
  • Misplacing Things and Losing the Ability to Retrace Steps: Putting things in unusual places and being unable to go back over steps to find them.
  • Changes in Mood and Personality: Becoming confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful, or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends, or in places where they are out of their comfort zone.

When to Speak with Healthcare Professionals

If you notice any of these signs in yourself or a loved one, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional. Early diagnosis can provide the best opportunities for treatment, support, and planning for the future. Your healthcare provider can perform tests to determine whether the symptoms are due to Alzheimer’s or another condition.

National Resources for Caregivers

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia can be challenging, but numerous resources are available to help:

  • Alzheimer’s Association: Offers a 24/7 helpline (1-800-272-3900), local support groups, and extensive online resources.
  • National Institute on Aging: Provides information on Alzheimer’s disease and caregiving tips.
  • Eldercare Locator: A public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging that connects caregivers with local services and support.

Remember, you are not alone. During Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, let’s commit to increasing our understanding of these conditions and supporting those affected by them.