On March 6, this country mourned the loss of Dementia & Azheimer’s sufferer and former First Lady Nancy Reagan. In her 94 years, Nancy Reagan made quite an impact on the world, living a life many of us only dream of. She started off her career as an actress in Hollywood, where she met the charismatic Ron. But that was only the beginning of a life in the limelight, serving by her husband’s side as he became governor of California and later president of the United States. And she wasn’t a wallflower during those times either, participating in many important campaigns, including the popular “Just Say No” to drugs campaign she helped make famous.
But it was in her later years Nancy Reagan faced what might have been her greatest challenge, which was caring for her husband as he faced the effects of Alzheimer’s. When he was diagnosed with the disease in 1994, he said, “I only wish I could spare Nancy from this painful experience.” As anyone who has cared for someone with Alzheimer’s knows, it can be painful to watch a loved one suffer from this debilitating disease. But as with everything in her life, Nancy faced it with courage and a stoic demeanor that served to inspire others. She not only cared for her husband, but also worked to raise money for research on Alzheimer’s and helped support legislation to allow stem cell research.
The Reagans’ willingness to talk about Alzheimer’s disease and the effects did a lot to bring awareness to this disease, not only for the people diagnosed but for those who care for them. Here at Piedmont Home Health, we understand that caregivers need support as well as the patient.
If you or someone you love is starting to show signs of Alzheimer’s or dementia, make an appointment with your doctor right away, as early diagnosis is important. Then call us at Piedmont Home Health, for help with caring for your loved ones in a manner that will help them remain independent, safe, and secure as long as possible.
Early Signs and Symptoms
Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between the normal aging process and the early signs of Alzheimer’s. Here are 10 early signs and symptomsto help you make the decisions necessary for your loved one.
1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life
2. Challenges in planning or solving problems
3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks
4. Confusion with time or place
5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
6. New problems with words in speaking or writing
7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
8. Decreased or poor judgement
9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
10. Changes in mood or personality