November welcomes the season of giving. This November, we celebrate those who take care of their family members. Caregiving is a role that many people take on for others. It is a great honor to be of service to someone else and support those in our lives. People of all ages can be caregivers and have different responsibilities outside of typical roles. If you need support of any kind, it is important to communicate your needs, desires and hopes. It is important that caregivers are celebrated and get the rest and care they deserve as they spend time being available for others. During this month, of thankfulness, consider doing something kind for a caregiver in your life.
November is also the month that brings awareness to Alzheimer’s disease; one of the challenges that some elderly people struggle with. Alzheimer’s is a progressive degenerative disease that begins with memory loss and can lead to challenges in having conversations with others or engaging with their surroundings. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, in 2020 approximately 5.8 million American people over the age of 65 were dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. It is a prevalent issue; it is key to pay attention to your elderly and help them maintain daily habits and a wellness routine.
Some warning signs that someone you love may be struggling with Alzheimer’s include:
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life
- Challenges in planning or problem solving
- Confusion with time or place
- Difficulty with familiar tasks
- Trouble understanding visual images or language
- Changes in mood
- Misplacing things and difficulty retracing steps
If you are worried that a loved one may be struggling with Alzheimer’s disease, a checkup with their primary care physician is highly recommended. According to the CDC, some ways to help treat Alzheimer’s are to make sure that behavioral symptoms are treated, ongoing physical activity, and maintaining brain health. Exercise, social engagement, and sleep are some of the best ways to help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Ensuring that you begin to care for yourself early is the best way to help to reduce the risk of facing this degenerative disease.
If you would like more information, we have linked websites and guides below that can help you learn more about Alzheimer’s and how to care for your loved ones that may be struggling with this challenge.
CDC Healthy Brain Initiative
- The Healthy Brain Initiative
- State and Local Public Health Partnerships to Address Dementia: The 2018-2023 Road Map [PDF – 19.3 MB]
- Road Map for Indian Country [PDF – 10.3 MB
Other Alzheimer’s Disease and Cognitive Health Resources