As a member of the sandwich generation (those who may be or become a caregiver to children and parents), we have responsibilities that I never could have imagined. I have had five close friends lose their parents within the last three years and it is hard wrap my head around. One of those parents suffered from Alzheimer’s and I saw the toll it took on the family. It is important for us to pay attention to our aging parents and potential signs of this disease known as “the long goodbye.” The Alzheimer’s Association has prepared a checklist of top ten warning signs.
Know the 10 Signs
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life.
- Challenges in planning or solving problems.
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure.
- Confusion with time or place.
- Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.
- New problems with words in speaking or writing.
- Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.
- Decreased or poor judgment.
- Withdrawal from work or social activities.
- Changes in mood and personality.
So this holiday season, especially those who do not see their parents/grandparents on a regular basis. Pay attention to subtle changes. Don’t get paranoid, but tune in if you’re not as much as you should be.
For resources and information, visit alz.org