VA Benefits | We expect changes in our loved ones as they age. But your mother’s seemingly innocent forgetfulness may eventually turn into something more serious. There’s forgetting the date of her own birthday, and then there’s something serious, such as forgetting to turn off the gas stove.

Alzheimer’s dementia is a progressively degenerative disease that affects the brain and its functions. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that as many as 5.7 million Americans are living with this disease. Every day more families must make decisions about how to take care of a loved one who may not be able to take care of themselves as independently as before. 

There are three stages of Alzheimer’s dementia: mild, moderate and severe. Here are some of the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s:

Memory Loss: One of the earliest symptoms is memory loss. This could be forgetting events that just happened or getting lost while driving a familiar route. If the memory loss becomes consistent or increases in frequency, it’s time to consult with a physician.

Personality Changes: Mood swings are associated with Alzheimer’s. Look for uncharacteristic behaviors and struggles with doing everyday things. This leads to frustration and even depression in some people. They may begin to lash out more often.

Social Isolation: Alzheimer’s often leaves people feeling confused about the situations happening around them. It’s easier for some people to withdraw. This may start off as a lack of energy, then progress to avoiding interactions with family and friends, and spending more time alone or watching TV.

Other signs: Mild coordination problems, having trouble putting thoughts into words, and not dressing appropriately for the weather. 

Be mindful and get prepared 

A word of caution: The symptoms above do not necessarily mean your loved one has Alzheimer’s. Stress, drugs, thyroid problems and many other things could be the root issue. Consult a physician if you have concerns.

And if the day is coming when you may have to care for that loved one, get prepared. Have conversations about financial and healthcare issues while that person is still able to communicate effectively. It could be time to make estate planning or long-term health care decisions. Consult financial advisors. Seek out an elder law attorney Tampa Fl, who can help you navigate the options, such as estate planning, qualifying for Medicaid assistance or VA benefits.

Contact The Law Office of Michelangelo Mortellaro Law 813-367-1500!