There is more family time spent during the holiday than during any other time of the year. Also, many times, if you have gone without seeing a loved one for several months, it can be easier to notice some of the signs and symptoms associated with Alzheimer's disease.
My father has only been truly old, as defined by his health and functioning, for perhaps five years, yet he was young and vigorous for decades before that. It takes time for perception to catch up with reality, but I'm not sure it ever does.
The toll of Alzheimer's disease is reaching epidemic proportions. Someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer's in the United States every 69 seconds -- a somber reminder that we must do more if we are to find an effective treatment for this devastating, debilitating condition.
This holiday season spend time to not only give thanks for the friends and family around you but for the Alzheimer's caregivers that help keep these loved ones happy and healthy during this most wonderful time of the year.
Although Alzheimer's is at least partially genetic, there is plenty we can do to keep our minds sharper. The technology we depend upon to keep our lives together, however, only seems to make us more scattered.
If we can target our adults with mild cognitive impairment -- forgetting phone numbers, where you put the keys, birthdays, anniversaries, and appointments -- we may have a real chance of preventing the slow decline into a world of dementia.
You shouldn't abandon family traditions or change everything about the holiday experience because your loved one has Alzheimer's disease; instead, you should keep your traditions alive and make sure that you cherish the memories you have with them during this special time of year.