November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and did you know that over 5 million people in the US currently have Alzheimer’s and more than 10 million people are caring for someone with the disease? These are large numbers impacted by this devastating disease. But how can you tell if you or one of your loved ones has it?
Forgetting someone’s name or where you put the car keys occasionally is very normal for people of all ages. But if you forget important things more and more often, or notice that it is starting to impair your functioning, you need to get a screening.
We all make the occasional boneheaded decisions from time-to-time, but when your loved ones make decisions that display a pronounced lack of judgement, or even seem out of character for them, such as driving around the neighborhood for hours at a time, excess impulsive spending on unnecessary items, wearing clothing that is not appropriate for the weather, and much more.
Closely related to making bad decisions, failing to recognize dangerous or harmful situations such wandering away from your home for hours at a time, driving erratically or too fast or slow in traffic, ignoring doctor’s advice when recovering from surgery or recent illness. If your loved one is placing him or herself–or others–at risk, then they should be assessed for dementia.
It is OK to forget an important ingredient of a favorite family recipe, but if your loved one completely forgets how to prepare a dish that they have made for every holiday gathering since she was a teenager, this may be an indicator of more serious problems. Other examples of routine tasks a person suffering from Alzheimer’s might have trouble with might be tasks related to personal hygiene, performing a simple housekeeping or maintenance tasks, or knowing the route to get to the grocery store.
We all get distracted from time-to-time, but someone suffering from Alzheimer’s has difficulty even following simple instructions, either by stopping in the middle of a task, or getting stuck performing one step in a task over and over again. They may lose interest in the middle of a conversation and wander off, or lose interest in a movie or television program only after a few minutes of watching it.
These are just a few of the symptoms that those suffering from Alzheimer’s might encounter. It is a good idea to get a cognitive assessment as part of their senior health care regimen if you suspect that your loved one is declining mentally.
At Primary Care Physicians of Florida, our comprehensive internal medicine specialists have extensive experience in helping seniors and their caregivers with Alzheimer’s and many other health needs that impact seniors and their families. We have doctors who accept Humana and CarePlus on staff, as well as others who are on the list of Medicaid healthcare providers.
Some of the other insurances we carry at Primary Care Physicians of Florida are (but not limited to): Preferred Care Partners, Blue Cross Blue Shield, UnitedHealthcare, Coventry, and Cigna. Please contact us for more information about the insurance plans we accept.
Set up a same-day doctor appointment by filling out our online contact form or calling 954-983-9191 today.