OTTUMWA — Families coming together for the holidays is possibly the best time to notice if something just isn’t quite right with a loved one.
Because there is more family time being spent during this time of the year, the Alzheimer’s Association wants to be sure everyone is educated on the 10 early detection signs of Alzheimer’s. Knowing the warning signs can possibly give answers to why a family member is acting different.
The 10 signs the Alzheimer’s Association has discovered that could be early detections of this dreaded disease include:
- 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
- Problems with words in speaking or writing
- Misplacing things and not being able to retrace steps
- Decreased or poor judgment
- Withdrawal from work or social activities
- Changes in mood or personality
To help with the education about Alzheimer’s and what individuals should look for in their loved ones, the Greater Iowa Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is holding a Living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia conference at the Indian Hills Community College Rural Health Building on Thursday.
“This is a workshop that is open and available to anyone interested in Alzheimer’s or caring for someone with Alzheimer’s,” said Michelle Kelman, program and event coordinator for the Greater Iowa Chapter.
There will be several speakers throughout the day educating about the early signs of the disease; the benefits of nutrition and exercise; and local resources and support services, among other topics.
“It is a very full, educative day,” Kelamn said. “There is just a lot of information and support.”
Registration for the day starts at 9:30 a.m., with the welcoming address right before the first speaker at 10 a.m. There will also be a lunch included at noon. Although there is no cost to go to the event, the association is accepting $10 donations.
In order to attend, guests are asked to preregister either online, at alz.org/greateriowa or by phone at 1-800-272-3900. The deadline to register is Dec. 10, and although the association would love to have as many people as they could, there are a limited number of spots open.
“Seating is limited, so people need to register as soon as possible,” Kelman said. “Don’t wait until the last day.”
Continuing education credits (CEU’s) are also available for those who are required for license purposes. The cost for those wanting to receive credits is $5.
The Alzheimer’s Association is here to help with anyone who has to go through the difficulties of this terrible disease, and educating the public about is one of their main goals, especially during this time of the year.
“This is one way we can give some support for those in southeast Iowa,” Kelman said. “Everyone comes home for the holidays it seems … and it could be the first time loved ones notice something is different.”
— To see reporter Josh Vardaman’s Twitter feed, go to @CourierJosh