How to prepare for Alzheimer’s Disease with cognitive assessments

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(KTIV) – A new report, published by the Alzheimer’s Association, shows a “significant disconnect” between seniors and doctors when it comes to cognitive assessments.

The report found that just 1 in 7 seniors say they received regular cognitive assessments for memory issues during routine health checkups.

The “facts and figures” report also found that while half of all seniors are aware of changes in their cognitive abilities– including changes in their ability to think, understand or remember– only 4 in 10 have ever discussed these concerns with a health care provider.

Alzheimer’s Association Development Specialist Jill Madsen, and Program Specialist Amanda Brophy spoke to KTIV’s Matt Breen about the report and the group’s upcoming Wine and Chocolate fundraiser.

“Amanda, when seniors go to their doctor, what should they say, or do, or bring, to make sure they’re getting checked for any cognitive issues?” asked Breen.

“One of the most important things to bring is a list of any medications you are on, whether that is over the counter prescriptions or not,” said Brophy. “I also think that familiarizing yourself with the 10 warning signs of the disease and as you see those things in your life, to make note of it.  That way when you go in to see your doctor you are prepared with that list of symptoms you have seen. And maybe bring in a loved one or family member with you so they can talk about any changes that they have seen as well.”

The 10 early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s includes:

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  2. Challenges in planning or solving problems
  3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
  4. Confusion with time or place
  5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
  6. New problems with words in speaking or writing
  7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  8. Decreased or poor judgment
  9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
  10. Changes in mood and personality

“Amanda, if any cognitive issues are found, what programs at the Alzheimer’s Association can help them, and their family?” asked Breen.

” We can do care consultations, where they come into our office and we answer their questions and walk them through what to expect with the disease,” said Brophy. “We have caregiver groups, we have support groups for people with early stages of Alzheimer’s and Dimensia.”

On April 4, the Alzheimer’s Association will be hosting the 25th annual Wine & Chocolate Festival at the Willow Creek Golf Course in Le Mars, Iowa.  On April 5 the event will be held at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Dakota Dunes in Sioux City.

Formerly known as the Wine and Roses Festival, proceeds from the event are used to support programs and services provided by the Alzheimer’s Association. For more information on the festival, call (712) 454-5034.

For additional information on the Alzheimer’s Association, go to alz.org/Iowa or call the 24/7 Helpline at 1-800-272-3900.

KTIV Staff

KTIV Staff

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