Alzheimers or Senior Issues – How to Tell the Difference

Have you ever wondered what the saying about “old age not coming alone” really means. As we grow older, we are all bound to run into a few senior issues such as arthritis, osteoporosis, heart disease and heartburn acid reflux disease to name but a few. However, there are also some brain related problems, such as Alzheimers and dementia, which although not so obvious as physical ailments, affect some five million Americans at any one time.

If you have noticed your elderly mother putting the car keys in the refrigerator or the remote control in the cupboard, or perhaps asking you how your dog is when you have not had one for the past twelve years, maybe these are not simply senior issues but rather the signs of Alzheimers.

Normal senior issues (or not so senior in my case!) related to the aging process include things like walking into the room but forgetting what you were doing, or having trouble finding the right word to express yourself. You might also forget a name, an appointment, where you placed your keys, or which day of the week it is. You might make a poor decision or find balancing your checkbook to be trickier.

To deal with these kinds of aging issues that are not associated with an Alzheimers diagnosis, you can take Omega 3 fish oil supplements, increase your exercise, practice word puzzles and read and learn new hobbies to boost your brain function.

By contrast, Alzheimers symptoms happen more frequently and are much more severe than normal issues of aging.

Extreme mood swings that include shouting and crying or confusion, in addition to personality changes, typically accompany things like forgetting how to prepare a meal, add numbers together or make a phone call.

Alzheimers patients will substitute words, ask the same questions repeatedly and may become lethargic. For the progressive Alzheimers patients, note reminders lose all meaning, they cannot remember things later on and forget entire experiences, and they progressively lose the capacity to care for themselves. Symptoms of Alzheimers can lead to a need for assisted living as the disease progresses.

Senior issues can be embarrassing but at least not fatal. By contrast, Alzheimers patients may suffer the symptoms for twenty years but fifty percent of those over seventy-five will succumb to it.

While there are currently no cures, there are drug treatments that can block the disease from worsening. With the love of family members and a stress-free routine, Alzheimer patients in the low to moderate range can still lead comparatively happy lives.

Page Updated: March 10, 2017
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