Do They Or Don't They?
Most often when the first sign's of Alzheimer's appears, families find themselves asking a lot of questions.
The most frequently asked question, has got to be "do they or don't they"?
Since the disease is slow and insidious, the characteristic symptoms in early Alzheimer's is very vague and easily overlooked.
This can make a family, who is unfamiliar with the symptoms, perplexed and uncertain that something is wrong.
Here is a short questionnaire that may help you decide if the person you are thinking of, should undergo diagnostic evaluation.
SHORT-TERM MEMORY LAPSES:
1. Does life for the person seem to overwhelm them? Do they appear to not know what has just taken place moments before or what may be happening at the present?
2. Do they appear to have difficulty following through with things? Such as returning phone calls or finishing meal preparations?
3. Do familiar things, such as furniture, photographs, appliances, seem new to them? Do they act like they've never seen them before?
IRRATIONAL BEHAVIOR/MOOD SWINGS:
4. Do they become agitated or upset over things they would normally do? Things like going shopping, or operating the washer or dryer? [In later stages, they could become distressed over things like bathing, getting dressed or even eating].
5. Do they act confused, angry, obstinate or even irrational over common everyday problems?
6. Do they disguise their confusion or forgetfulness with paranoia?
7. Do you get the feeling that they are hiding "things" from you? Problems they may be having? Overdue bills?
8. Do they seem to accuse or blame others for causing the problems they are having?
9. Have you noticed that their social life has diminished? That their friends seem to call or drop by less?
10. Do they often seem to display problems expressing themselves?
11. Do they frequently forget the names of simple but very familiar things?
12. Do they seem to forget what they were talking about, run a bunch of thoughts together, or appear to ramble on in an incoherent fashion?
13. Have you found yourself having to explain things to them over and over, only to have them forget what you said just moments before? Or do they accuse you of never having told them in the first place?
14. Do they become angry at you or seem confused about something they don't understand?
15. Have you left them notes or instructions, only to find out later they have either ignored them, or grossly misinterpreted them?
16. Have you found they act like you are a stranger to them? That they are unsure of who you are or what your reason is for being there?
17. Do they appear to have problems with simple movements, such as walking or dressing themselves? [Writing their names or dialing a telephone?]
18. Do they suddenly seem uncoordinated or have a hard time doing things they used to do, like sewing or cooking food? [ Men may show problems handling a screwdriver, changing the oil in the car, or filling it with gas.]
NO SENSE OF TIME:
19. Do they seem to have a hard time recalling what time it is? For instance, do they look at the clock, and then moments later, look at it again? Or do they ask you over and over...what time it is?
20. Do they seem to get confused as to how to read a clock? Or have a hard time deciphering as to what time of day that particular hour is? [Is it day or night?]
If you have answered 'yes' to more than 3 of these questions, then you might consider having the person undergo a thorough examination to determine if they have Alzheimer's.
There are other causes that mimic AD, so that is precisely why you should have a evaluation done. There are two hospitals here in Nebraska, that have diagnostic clinics. They are: Lincoln General, in Lincoln, NE and Omaha Medical Center in Omaha, NE.
Medicare as well as the supplemental insurances do cover most of the recommended tests.
(c) copyright 1994
Alzheimer's Outreach http://alzheimers.zarcrom.com
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