September is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

BARRY’S BAY – “The disease is something different for everybody. Just because you have the same diagnosis, you’re not going to have the same presentation from every person. It’s very different for everyone. It’s a mystery, for sure.”

That’s is what Head of Patient Care at the Valley Manor, Gail Yantha, told The Valley Gazette is a discussion about Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.

Alzheimer’s is a particular form of dementia.

“Dementia itself is an umbrella term. There are various forms of dementia, Alzheimer’s is one of them. It’s a particular dementia that happens because of certain proteins and how they bind to brain cells.”

The early signs of getting the disease for most people include short term memory loss, misplacing things, forgetting names and later forgetting relationships.

“It is consistent and over time in slow progression, generally, that families would start to recognize symptoms,” she said.

From the onset of early symptoms, it often takes two years before a diagnosis is made.

By that time, the misplaced things become things that are hidden or saying someone else stole it, because they do not remember.

“Depending on what stage of Alzheimer’s, [symptoms can include] not recognizing what things are, that food has to go in their mouth. Maybe they are hiding old food and people are wondering what the smell is. These are things later on in the disease,” Yantha said.

Pick up a copy of the September 18 Valley Gazette for the complete story, or subscribe online.