January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and the Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan is urging residents to support family members or friends who may be living with this disease.
Every year, 25,000 Canadians are diagnosed with dementia.
Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan CEO Joanne Bracken said a survey was done in July of 2015, and it became clear many people do not understand Alzheimer’s disease.
To help educate people, the Society has released 10 evidence-based warning signs in hopes that it might empower people with early diagnosis.
Ten evidence-based warning signs that affect abilities, behaviours and/or communications:
1. Memory loss affecting day-to-day abilities – forgetting things often or struggling to retain new information.
2. Difficulty performing familiar tasks – forgetting how to do something you’ve been doing your whole life, such as preparing a meal or getting dressed.
3. Problems with language – forgetting words or substituting words that don’t fit the context.
4. Disorientation in time and space – not knowing what day of the week it is or getting lost in a familiar place.
5. Impaired judgment – not recognizing a medical problem that needs attention or wearing light clothing on a cold day.
6. Problems with abstract thinking – not understanding what numbers signify on a calculator, for example, or how they’re used.
7. Misplacing things – putting things in strange places, like an iron in the freezer or a wristwatch in the sugar bowl.
8. Changes in mood and behaviour – exhibiting severe mood swings from being easy-going to quick-tempered.
9. Changes in personality – behaving out of character such as feeling paranoid or threatened.
10. Loss of initiative – losing interest in friends, family and favourite activities.
If you are concerned about any of these signs, talk to your doctor.
In honour of the Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, several walks will be taking place throughout the province, including one in Regina on Jan. 29.