November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and Caring Hearts offices throughout the country have been joining in efforts to promote awareness of this troubling disease and to share information about available assistance for those affected and their caregivers. We, at the Caring Hearts corporate office also took part by organizing various fundraisers and forming the “Caring Hearts Memory Keepers” team to participate in the recent Walk to End Alzheimer’s here in Cincinnati.
When I think about Alzheimer’s, I’m reminded of my Aunt Bea who was diagnosed just after my uncle passed away. As time progressed she changed and while her spirit, laughter and compassionate nature remained she was no longer the same and could no longer do for herself. I remember visiting her as the disease progressed and each time she would tell me the Uncle John was at work but he would be home for dinner. He was the love of her life. It was devastating for my family and me to watch as the disease robbed her of her independence and us of the woman we knew and loved.
While currently there is no cure, researchers the world over are working to develop new, more effective treatments to slow – and perhaps ultimately cure – the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s disease. For now, the best assistance comes from early diagnosis. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, signs of the disease include: memory loss that disrupts daily life, difficulty in planning or solving problems, confusion about time and place, trouble understanding visual images or spatial relationships, withdrawal from work or social activities, and changes in mood or personality.
To learn more about these symptoms and how they differ from normal signs of aging, visit the association’s web site at www.alz.org. You can also view the Alzheimer’s Care page on our website to find information about risk factors, caregiver support, managing symptoms and much more. I encourage everyone to take a stand by reaching out in your communities and joining in the fight against Alzheimer’s!