Alzheimer’s also known as Dementia affects around 55’000 people currently in Ireland.
Dementia is an umbrella term describing a set of symptoms causing a person to have changes in brain function and interfere with the ability to function and do everyday activities.
The most common form of Dementia is Alzheimer’s. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s can include confusion, memory loss and behaviour changes. This can be very distressing for both family members and the person themselves.
The age range for Alzheimer’s disease, for it is a disease of the brain, is generally older people over the age of 65. Though it is possible to get early onset of Alzheimer’s.
An early diagnosis can be vital in helping the individual and their family to prepare and support them with such a diagnosis.
Early signs of Alzheimer’s / Dementia
- Memory loss
- Unable to solve basic problems.
- Unable to complete familiar tasks
- Confusion with time or place
- Forgetting words in speaking or writing
- Inability to remember where they left things
- Withdrawal from work or social activities
- Changes in mood and personality
If you are worried about yourself or someone you know please go see your GP as soon as possible.
A support plan can be put in place to help with the individual cope. Up to 40% of individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s suffer from significant depression.
Dementia / Alzheimer’s is a cruel disease as the person slowly loses their ability to remember familiar names and faces. The person is often aware that they should know these details and can become very upset that they cannot remember.
Obviously this is heart breaking for the family and support is needed for the persons spouse, children and friends.
Certain interventions may help to slow down the disease. There is no known cure.
The Alzheimer Society of Ireland https://alzheimer.ie/ give vital support for families of those dealing with Alzheimer’s. The give support through Day Care, Respite Care, Family Carer Training, Support groups and much more.
On Thursday 21st November they are having a nationwide Flag Day collection https://alzheimer.ie/get-involved/fundraising-events/alzheimers-memory-ribbon-day/. You can support this vital service by purchasing a Memory Ribbon on the day or by donating €4 by texting ‘Memory’ to 50300.
Let us not forget those who cannot remember .