How do I know if my mom has Alzheimer’s disease? What are some of the early signs of this disease?
Good question, Betty. Many people, including myself, want to know what signs to look for. For wisdom on this subject I went to the wonderful resource, Coach Broyles’ Playbook for Alzheimer’s Caregivers. Frank Broyles is Athletic Director Emeritus for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. His wife, Barbara, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Frank says, “I had many questions and spent a lot of time looking for answers. What I learned is contained in my book, “Playbook for Alzheimer’s Caregivers.”
One of the first topics which Coach Broyles deals with in his book is what signs to look for.
Frank says, the first signs are that your loved one may:
Another clue may be if your loved one stops doing things she has always enjoyed, such as:
Many people don’t know they should see a doctor when they see some of these signs. This is tragic because there are drugs your doctor can prescribe that will slow down how quickly Alzheimer’s disease causes damage in the brain.
The one thing that usually gets families to the doctor is when their loved one gets lost coming home from work or the store. This is very common. When this happens, your loved one may begin to worry about the other things she is having a hard time doing. She may:
This is a good time to see a doctor and find out what is going on.
Coach Broyles cautions that, “Some family doctors don’t have the extra training needed to find the cause of your loved one’s memory loss. They may say it is just “old age” and “you should not worry about it.” Please don’t stop there. It takes a doctor with special training to find the cause of memory loss. There may be doctors with this training in your area. Your local Alzheimer’s Association chapter can help you”
Thank you Coach Broyles for sharing your wisdom with us.
For more information on Coach Broyles’ work within the Alzheimer’s community visit, The Broyles Foundation.