Alzheimer’s is on the rise, and is a the most common form of dementia. Alzheimer’s affects memory, cognitive thinking and behavior, and at this point gets progressively worse with no available cure. One of the daily tasks affected by Alzheimer’s is driving; loss of cognitive function can make this normal activity unsafe. At Cathay Express, we are committed to providing our non-emergency medical transportation services to individuals that are unable to drive themselves safely. Alzheimer’s is one condition that can make driving impossible; read on for the signs and symptoms of this terrible disease.
Probably the most well known symptom of Alzheimer’s is memory loss. While memory loss and confusion can be general signs of dementia as we age, Alzheimer’s in particular results in forgetting dates, appointments, and needing to use memory aids to help with keeping facts straight. A normal sign of an aging memory might be occasionally forgetting things, or forgetting them but remembering later. With Alzheimer’s, the forgotten information is not remembered later, and memory loss becomes progressively worse. This loss of memory can be frustrating and confusing, not just for the individual experiencing it, but also for their family and friends.
Changes in Vision
While some changes in vision can be a normal sign of aging, occasionally they can indicate a larger problem, or Alzheimer’s. It is always important to get your vision checked if you are experiencing problems, as vision loss can be dangerous for driving. Alzheimer’s can affect spatial perception, ability to distinguish colors and can impact reading. If you have a question, check with your doctor to know if there could be a larger, underlying problem.
Problems Speaking or Writing
Forgetting the right word in speech or writing is normal, and not a cause for concern. However, Alzheimer’s can affect your ability to name familiar objects, and finding the right words can be difficult. It can also make someone repeat themselves, or be unable to follow a conversation. Forgetting words, or stopping in the middle of a sentence and be unable to finish are hard to watch someone struggle with. Check with your doctor if you have speech or writing symptoms that are beyond what seems normal.
Changes in Personality
Another warning sign of Alzheimer’s can be pronounced changes in personality. Alzheimer’s can lead to depression, confusion, anxiety and other mood changes. Becoming more easily upset or frustrated in normal situations can be a warning sign; if you are concerned about changes you or a loved one are experiencing, check with your doctor. As we age, everyone comes to like their specific patterns and routines, and disruptions can lead to irritability. Alzheimer’s goes beyond this normal irritation and begins to change someone’s persona.
Changes in Judgement
A person with Alzheimer’s may start to make irrational or uncharacteristic decisions. They may be less careful with their money, even if they have been a fastidious saver. This lack of judgement can impact their physical health too, as hygiene may be neglected. We all make poor decisions from time to time, but if your loved one is making new decisions and choices that concern you, check with a doctor.
Inability to Retrace Steps
Forgetting where you put an item is a common problem that affects everyone from time to time. With Alzheimer’s, you lose the ability to retrace your steps to remember where you may have lost something. The confusion that losing items brings can make someone angry and even accusing and suspicious. Your loved one may not be able to see that they have misplaced an item, and may accuse others of stealing. This can be very concerning to the family and friends of an individual with Alzheimer’s.
If you are concerned about changes you are noticing in yourself or a loved one, check with your doctor to determine what your course of action should be. At Cathay Express, we offer non-emergency medical transportation that can get your loved one to their destination safely- including service to Queens and the JFK airport. If there are changes with vision, memory or word usage that make driving on their own not possible, we have the answer to your transportation needs. Contact us today to find out how our ambulette and non-emergency medical transport service can assist you or your loved one today.