HONOLULU (KHON) — November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and with Thanksgiving right around the corner, experts are informing the public of signs to look out for if you suspect your loved one might be suffering from Alzheimer’s or early dementia.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, it is the sixth leading cause of death for older people in the U.S. and kills more people each year than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.
Alzheimer’s and dementia deaths rose more than 16% during the COVID pandemic, according to a study by the Alzheimer’s Association.
In that same study, between 2000 and 2019, deaths from heart disease have decreased 7.3% while deaths from Alzheimer’s have increased 145%.
Some signs and symptoms to look out for if you suspect your loved one might be experiencing early Alzheimer’s is memory loss that disrupts daily life, challenges when planning or solving problems, difficulty completing familiar tasks, as well as confusion with time or place.
Other signs and symptoms include trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships, new problems with words in speaking or writing, misplacing things, losing the ability to retrace steps, decreased or poor judgment, withdrawal from work and social activities and changes in mood.
Experts said if you notice one or more of these signs in a loved one, the best thing you can do is to get checked early.
According to the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement, more than six million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. The cost of caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is estimated to total $355 billion in 2021.
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For more information about Alzheimer’s and on what to look out for this holiday season, click here.