ACT BEFORE YOU FORGET-A Dementia Awarness campaign

Demographic ageing is a worldwide process that shows the successes of improved health care over the last century. Many are now living longer and healthier lives and so the world population has a greater proportion of older people. Dementia mainly affects older people, although there is a growing awareness of cases that start before the age of 65.

There are over 9.9 million new cases of dementia each year worldwide, implying one new case every 3.2 seconds. There were an estimated 46.8 million people worldwide living with dementia in 2015 and this number is believed to be close to 50 million people in 2017. This number will almost double every 20 years, reaching 75 million in 2030 and 131.5 million in 2050. Much of the increase will be in developing countries. Already 58% of people with dementia live in low and middle income countries, but by 2050 this will rise to 68%. The fastest growth in the elderly population is taking place in China, India, and their south Asian and western Pacific neighbours.

According to the stats for financial burden of Dementia, if global dementia care were a country, it would be the 18th largest economy in the world. The annual costs exceed the market values of companies such as Apple (US $742 billion) and Google (US $368 billion).

Research shows that most people currently living with dementia have not received a formal diagnosis. In high income countries, only 20-50% of dementia cases are recognised and documented in primary care. This ‘treatment gap’ is certainly much greater in low and middle income countries, with one study in India suggesting 90% remain undiagnosed. If these statistics are extrapolated to other countries worldwide, it suggests that approximately three quarters of people with dementia have not received a diagnosis, and therefore do not have access to treatment, care and organised support that getting a formal diagnosis can provide.

The World Alzheimer Report shows that earlier diagnosis and early intervention are important mechanisms by which the treatment gap can be closed.

10 early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life
One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s disease, especially in the early stage, is forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates or events, asking for the same questions over and over, and increasingly needing to rely on memory aids (e.g., reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to handle on their own.
What’s a typical age-related change?
Sometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later.


2. Challenges in planning or solving problems
Some people living with dementia may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. They may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. They may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did before.
What’s a typical age-related change?
Making occasional errors when managing finances or household bills.

3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks
People with Alzheimer’s often find it hard to complete daily tasks. Sometimes they may have trouble driving to a familiar location, organizing a grocery list or remembering the rules of a favorite game.
What’s a typical age-related change?
Occasionally needing help to use microwave settings or to record a TV show.


4. Confusion with time or place
People living with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. They may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there.
What’s a typical age-related change?
Getting confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later.


5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
For some people, vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer’s. This may lead to difficulty with balance or trouble reading. They may also have problems judging distance and determining color or contrast, causing issues with driving.
What’s a typical age-related change?
Vision changes related to cataracts.


6. New problems with words in speaking or writing
People living with Alzheimer’s may have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves. They may struggle with vocabulary, have trouble naming a familiar object or use the wrong name (e.g., calling a “watch” a “hand-clock”).
What’s a typical age-related change?
Sometimes having trouble finding the right word.


7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
A person living with Alzheimer’s disease may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. He or she may accuse others of stealing, especially as the disease progresses.
What’s a typical age-related change?
Misplacing things from time to time and retracing steps to find them.


8. Decreased or poor judgment
Individuals may experience changes in judgment or decision-making. For example, they may use poor judgment when dealing with money or pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean.
What’s a typical age-related change?
Making a bad decision or mistake once in a while, like neglecting to change the oil in the car.


9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
A person living with Alzheimer’s disease may experience changes in the ability to hold or follow a conversation. As a result, he or she may withdraw from hobbies, social activities or other engagements. They may have trouble
keeping up with a favorite team or activity.
What’s a typical age-related change?
Sometimes feeling uninterested in family or social obligations.


10. Changes in mood and personality
Individuals living with Alzheimer’s may experience mood and personality changes. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, with friends or when out of their
comfort zone.
What’s a typical age-related change?
Developing very specific ways of doing things and becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted.


What to do if you notice these signs
If you notice any of the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s in yourself or someone you know, don’t ignore them. Schedule an appointment with your doctor.
With early detection, you can explore treatments that may provide some relief of symptoms and help you maintain a level of independence longer.

Medical risk factors for Dementia:
Increased weight
Midlife Hypertension
Diabetes mellitus
Stroke
Smoking
Hypothyroidism
Dyslipidemia
Deficiency of vitamin B12.

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *