GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Experts say more than five million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Today in the "Sandwich Generation," Donna Walberg, an Alzheimer’s expert and consultant for the Minnesota Board on Aging, appeared on KARE-11 to talk about the progressive disease and to share her personal story. Walberg’s husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2012 at age 61. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.
Walberg says caregivers should seek professional help as soon as they recognize any of the 10 warning signs. She says a crisis is the worst time to diagnose Alzheimer’s.
Walberg also shared some important tips for caregivers, who communicate daily with someone with Alzheimer’s. Families should adapt to the changes constantly throughout the disease process.
For help with aging-related issues or services, call the Senior LinkAge Line at 1 (800) 333-2433.
The National Alzheimer’s Association offers 10 warning signs to identify possible dementia:
Memory loss that disrupts daily life
-- Forgetting appointments
- Challenges in planning or solving problems
-- Like keeping track of monthly bills
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
-- Remembering the rules of a favorite game, using spreadsheets at work
- Confusion with time or place
-- Not remembering how to get somewhere or how they got there
- Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
-- Difficulty reading, judging distance
- New problems with words in speaking or writing
-- Have trouble joining or following a conversation
- Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
-- Can't retrace steps to find something lost
- Decreased or poor judgment
-- Give large sums to telemarketers
- Withdrawal from work or social activities
-- Trouble remembering how to complete a favorite hobby
- Changes in mood and personality
-- Easily upset when they are out of their comfort zone