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The Alzheimer’s Playbook: What You Need to Know

Alzheimer's playbook
Learn tips from the Alzheimer’s playbook.

Did you know that 5.8 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s and dementia? That means whether or not you or someone you know has struggled with the disease, there is a very good chance that you will in your lifetime. November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, and it’s a good time to check in with the Alzheimer’s playbook on how to prevent and manage the disease.

Alzheimer’s Facts

Ten percent of all Americans over the age of 65 have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. With numbers like that, it would be nearly impossible (not to mention expensive) to provide around-the-clock medical care for every patient. That’s why the care, ends up being the responsibility of friends and family. In fact, 16 million Americans are currently providing unpaid care for someone with Alzheimer’s. It’s a heavy task to bear, but there are some tips in the Alzheimer’s playbook that can help make it a little easier.

Alzheimer’s Warning Signs

Knowing the warning signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s is important, because catching it early can help you prepare and even slow the effects of the disease. Here’s what to look for:

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty concentrating and following a plan
  • Difficulty completing normal daily tasks
  • Losing track of time and places
  • Trouble with vision and balance
  • Repeating words or having trouble following a conversation
  • Misplacing items often
  • May have a disheveled appearance
  • Withdrawing from social activities
  • Mood swings and changes in personality

According to the Alzheimer’s playbook, if you notice these signs about yourself or someone you know, you should immediately get checked out by a doctor. Early detection is important. It can give you access to treatments that may relieve symptoms and slow the development of the disease. Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s.

Slowing Alzheimer’s Progression

We may not have a cure, but studies show there are ways to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s. These are simple changes that can be made in your everyday life, that can have a big impact on you future. They include:

Tips for the Caregiver

It’s important for caregivers to stay on top of the Alzheimer’s playbook too. If you are caring for a loved one with cognitive disease, here are some resources that can help you.

  • Coach Broyles Playbook for Alzheimer’s Caregivers
  • Plan for what’s ahead with the patient
  • Connect with other caregivers in your community
  • Join online support groups
  • Educate yourself on the disease

For more information on Alzheimer’s disease for both the patient and caregiver, log on anytime to alz.org, or call (800) 272-3900.