November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.
It is an attempt to spread information about America’s sixth–leading cause of death.
Thanksgiving is often the first time to notice that a loved one has dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association says it is normal to goof up names of relatives you might not see often.
They suggest watching for memory loss that affects daily life.
“People who really can’t recall familiar names, maybe family members who even get lost, or they go to the store and it takes much longer than expected,” Alzheimer’s Association U.P. region director Ruth Almen said. “Any kind of short–term memory loss that seems like it’s repeated. Losing something? We all do that as we age, but when you can’t go back and find it.”
Sometimes having trouble finding the right word for something is a common situation as we age. But frequent new problems with words in speaking or writing serve as another warning sign.
“People should know that they can make plans, make accommodations and change things just a little, and everyone can still enjoy the holidays,” Almen said. “Alzheimer’s doesn’t mean you can’t do that or you can’t spend time together.”