Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes problems with a person’s memory, thinking process, personality, or behavior. Contrary to what you may believe, this disease is not a normal aging condition. According to the United States Alzheimer’s Association in 2016, this disease has been considered the most common type of dementia. In addition, it is considered the fourth cause of death in Puerto Rico. According to sources from the Department of Health of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, it has been estimated that there are between 40 to 60 thousand cases of people with Alzheimer’s disease and half of those have not been diagnosed.
Alzheimer’s warning signs:
1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life.
Ex. Forgetting recently learned information.
2.Difficulty planning or solving problems.
Ex. Trouble concentrating, working with numbers, or following a plan.
3.Difficulty completing daily chores.
Ex. Trouble getting to a well-known place.
4. Confusion with time or place.
Ex. Forgetting dates or losing track of time.
5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships between objects.
Ex. Difficulty reading and determining color and distance.
6. Problems with words while speaking or writing.
Ex. Trouble participating in a conversation and calling things by a wrong name.
7. Misplacing things.
Ex. Saving belongings in strange places. Accusing others of stealing their things.
8. Poor judgement.
Ex. Giving large amounts for purchased items and paying little attention to personal hygiene.
9. Lack of interest in participating in work or social activities.
Ex. Showing little interest in their hobbies and avoiding socializing because of the changes they are experiencing.
10. Changes in mood or personality.
Ex. Getting upset easily and becoming confused, depressed, fearful, and anxious.
Every individual may experience one or more of these signs in varying degrees. If you notice any of these in yourself or any family member, consult your physician.
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Department of Health of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico