Those of us who are a little past the first flush of youth often worry whether we're on the slippery slope to Alzheimers when we
* Walk into the kitchen and forget what we went in for
* Misplace our keys
* Forget the names of people
* Don't remember a specific place or brand name("Tip of the tongue" experience)
Rest assured, these experiences are normal and don't indicate a Alzheimers/dementia problem.
However, there is a cause for concern when memory loss starts to affect the daily life of a person.
Common signs of dementia:
* Recent memory loss that affects job skills
* Difficulty performing familiar tasks
* Problems with language
* Time and place disorientation
* Problems keeping track of things
* Repeatedly misplacing things and putting them in inappropriate places
* Changes in mood
* Personality changes
There's a strong focus these days on brain and physical fitness and social interaction as a way of reducing the likelihood of Alzheimers. Keeping your brain fit can be as simple as doing a crossword each day.
Vibrant and healthy aging: tips for brain health and successful aging is full of interesting stuff on the importance of physical and brain fitness, how to improve your memory, etc.
Alzheimers New Zealand has a wealth of interesting material and resources on Alzheimers and other dementias, assistance available, etc, and is essential reading for anyone caring for a family member diagnosed with Alzheimers.
The Alzheimers Reading Room, was begun to describe the Alzheimers journey of an elderly woman - his mother - and his journey as her caregiver, interspersed with posts on new research, treatment and other really useful information. To quote Bob deMarco -
"The Alzheimer's Reading Room is the number one source of life news and health information for the entire Alzheimers and Dementia community. The goal of the Alzheimer's Reading Room is to Educate and Empower Alzheimer's caregivers their families, and the entire Alzheimer's community."