As Mother’s Day approaches, Sunday, May 14, please take the time to honor your mother and all mothers during the month of May for the gifts they share and have shared. Many times mothers and of course, grandmothers don’t get the honor they deserve, especially if they have symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia.
Here are a couple of quotes from notable individuals:
“Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love, and fearlessness. If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love.” ~ Stevie Wonder
“Who ran to help me when I fell, and would some pretty story tell, or kiss the place to make it well? My mother.” ~ Ann Taylor
Many of us are trying our best to cope and deal with our moms who have Alzheimer’s disease. It’s not easy. How do we celebrate Mother’s Day when things just aren’t the way they use to be, and in fact, getting worse? What do we do with the changes that accompany Alzheimer’s? Who do we turn to when things begin to change and just don’t feel quite right anymore? Is it normal aging? Are there larger problems like cognitive or physical concerns, or even depression?
Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. The Alzheimer’s Association identifies 10 Early Signs. Every individual may experience one or more of these signs in different degrees.
10 Early Signs of Alzheimer’s:
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life
- Challenge in planning or solving problems
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, work or at leisure
- Confusion with time and place
- Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
- New problems with words in speaking or writing
- Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
- Decreased or poor judgement
- Withdrawal from work or social activities
- Changes in mood or personality
Women are saddled with a much higher burden when it comes to caregiving for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease. As a result, women experience higher emotional and physical stress, strained family relationships, lost employment and sometimes lost employment opportunities.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association:
- More women than men have Alzheimer’s disease or some form of dementia
- 2 million women are living with Alzheimer’s
- Women are more likely than men to be informal caregivers for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or some form of dementia
- As caregiving responsibilities become more time consuming and burdensome or extend for long periods of time, women assume an even greater share of the caregiving burden.
- 60 percent of caregivers are women
- Women are less likely than men to receive outside help for caregiving
For African-Americans, it’s more of a concern, because as a group, they are twice more likely to develop late-onset Alzheimer’s disease than whites. And, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, less likely to be diagnosed with their condition, resulting having less time to react to treatment and planning.
If you suspect your mother, grandmother, or loved one has symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, it’s important to be evaluated by a doctor. You can also seek assistance from Assisted Transition of Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky. We are here to serve you! Our goal is to help you understand your or your loved one’s care options, then locate and provide the best personalized and customized senior placement, referral, and advisory services.