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Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - 7:11am
Las Cruces (KDBC) — It's National Alzheimer’s Month. Experts said the disease will impact about one-third of families in our area.
"It's becoming a global crisis," said Jan Wimsatt with Home Instead Senior Care in Las Cruces.
In the next 20 years, Alzheimer’s disease will increase by 50 percent.
Most commonly, doctors diagnose it in people over 65 and although it affects people differently, there are many common symptoms.
"Usually, it's short term memory more. You forget about a conversation you just had or a meal you just ate," said Wimsatt.
Wimsatt said you should watch for the warning signs.
"First, check out all the medical reasons that it could be first and if all of those check out, then it wouldn't hurt to see a neurologist," said Wimsatt.
There's no cure, but there are medications to slow its progression and treat symptoms, including confusion, aggression and mood swings.
People with Alzheimer’s have to rely on others for help and it can put a burden on caregivers.
"Be patient; acknowledge that they didn't pick it. They're not doing it on purpose and learn to work through it," said Wimsatt.
There are many resources for loved ones. Home Instead Senior Care offers monthly workshops for families, books with information to handle difficult situations and a free app called Alzheimer’s & Other Dementias Daily Companion for advice and tips.
Wimsatt said it's important to know that nobody can be a caregiver around the clock.
"We see too many times when the family caregiver becomes sick, debilitated or even dead before their loved one because they just ran themselves into the ground," said Wimsatt.
Home Instead Senior Care is hosting a workshop for family members to help them care for their loved ones with Alzheimer’s. It's at 5 p.m. Thursday at 880 South Telshor Boulevard in Las Cruces.
For more information, call 575-522-7133.