Although the initial symptoms of Alzheimer’s are often moderate enough to confuse with the normal signs of aging, there are a number of benefits that seniors can gain from early diagnosis. This makes it vital for aging adults and their loved ones to be cognizant of changes in cognitive abilities or potentially alarming behavior. Once this disease has been positively identified, there are many things that seniors can do to preserve and improve their overall life qualities. Albuquerque Alzheimer’s care experts offer the following benefits of early detection.
Validation of Changing Abilities
Although an Alzheimer’s diagnosis is never welcomed, understanding why feelings of disorientation and forgetfulness are occurring can be a tremendous relief for seniors. As with most progressive illnesses, people tend to feel a little more certain of themselves once they know what they are facing. A confirmed diagnosis also gives people the chance to receive treatment as soon as possible and learn more about the different resources available.
Ability to Participate in Long-Term Planning
When Alzheimer’s is diagnosed during its early stages, aging adults have a much greater ability to actively participate in long-term planning discussions. This means they can define their own advanced directives, determine how they want their money and insurance concerns handled, and decide which type of long-term care will work best for them once individual abilities have significantly declined. If diagnosed at a much later stage, many of these important decisions will have to be made without their review and consent.
Greater Appreciation of Life
Although an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be difficult to accept, it can also lead to a much greater appreciation of life. Once people recognize that their remaining, healthy years are limited, they tend to become more proactive about using their time positively. They also have the opportunity to spend time bonding with family members before memory loss and other symptoms affect these connections.
Ability to Participate in Clinical Trials
Although there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, there are a number of promising drugs that are either soon to hit the market or still in the testing phase. Seeking treatment for this disease early on can make a senior a suitable candidate for participating in clinical trials. New medications may have the ability to significantly stall the progression of this disease and may even effectively suppress existing symptoms.
Signs to Look For
In order for early diagnosis to occur, seniors and their loved ones should seek medical attention whenever an aging adult’s behaviors reflect problems that extend beyond the common challenges of aging. These include sudden or progressive problems with reading or communicating, memory loss that affects daily activities, marked changes in personality or moods, and difficulty with problem solving and planning. Doctors can perform extensive testing to identify the causes of these changes and to decide whether Alzheimer’s treatment is necessary.
If your senior loved one has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it’s important to start considering long-term care options as soon as possible. At Home Care Assistance, we specialize in Alzheimer’s, dementia, and stroke care in Albuquerque, and every caregiver is expertly trained to handle the unique and complex care needs of seniors with advanced conditions. To learn more about our care services, give us a call at 505-798-0800 to speak with an experienced Care Manager.