Did you know that 6.5 million Americans, or 1 in 9, are living with Alzheimer’s disease right now? Of those, 73% are ages 75 or older, and two thirds of them are women. November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, where different organizations raise awareness and education about this condition.
Alzheimer’s is a well-known but often misunderstood condition, with many misconceptions and stigma surrounding it. During Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, AgeWell Atlanta – along with other agencies around the world – aims to break the stigma, have tough discussions, and educate people in the Atlanta community about Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are 10 early signs of Alzheimer’s to look out for:
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life
- Challenges in planning or solving problems
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks
- Confusion with time or place
- Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
- New problems with words in speaking or writing
- Misplacing things and losing ability to retrace steps
- Decreased or poor judgment
- Withdrawal from work or social activities
- Changes in mood or personality
If you find yourself relating to any of these, whether it’s your own behavior or a loved one’s, don’t panic. AgeWell Atlanta has resources and information you need to take action. When you contact us by calling 1.866.AGEWELL (243-9355), you’ll be connected to a concierge who is friendly and well-versed in the many elder care resources in the Atlanta community. Your concierge will provide you with information and “warm handoff” referrals to the right sources.
“When people call in, they will often say that something is off with their mom, dad, or loved one, and they don’t know what,” said Jennifer Curry, AgeWell Atlanta Program Manager. “I recommend going to a primary care physician or neurologist as soon as you start seeing any signs.”
“What’s most important to remember about Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia is that you shouldn’t wait until things reach a crisis point in order to get help for yourself or a loved one,” Jennifer continued. “And don’t wait for a diagnosis to start putting safeguards in place.”
AgeWell Atlanta Resources
At AgeWell Atlanta, we have multiple partners in our network who provide information, education, support, and services for individuals at every point along their dementia journeys.
Jewish HomeLife has a community called Berman Commons, which offers award-winning assisted living and memory care with an individualized approach. Jewish HomeLife has many other services in their network for aging adults, all highly accredited and run by skilled and caring staff members.
Berman Commons is conveniently located across the street from another AgeWell Atlanta partner, The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. And at the MJCCA, you or a loved one can keep your memory and overall health sharp with fun programs for active mature adults, such as discussion groups, classes, and group fitness. The MJCCA hosts Senior Day every year in partnership with AgeWell Atlanta, where residents and caregivers are invited to engage in the healthy activities that can prevent and slow-down the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Jewish Family & Career Services (JF&CS) offers Aviv Older Adult Services, an all-encompassing approach to health and welfare for aging adults and their family, including fun and science-backed memory support programs like Brain Health Bootcamp and Music & Memory.
AgeWell Atlanta is here for you and your family, not just during Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, but year-round. We also recently held a free webinar on dementia, which you can watch here. To learn more about our resources and support that we offer for families with questions about Alzheimer’s, contact ustoday. We would love to hear from you. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and join our email newsletter for more blogs, information, and resources for aging adults and their families.