With the holiday season approaching, many Iowans will be spending time with distant relatives. Unfortunately, some older family members may be starting to exhibit signs of trouble. Jody Ricklefs, spokeswoman for the Fort Dodge branch office of the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Iowa, says there are many indicators.
“The first warning sign is memory loss and you often see friends and close family relations recognize the memory loss before the person will,” Ricklefs says. Other signs may include: difficulty peforming familiar tasks, problems with language, changes in mood or behavior, loss of initiative, misplacing things and disorientation to time, person or place. She says about 65,000 Iowans are currently living with Alzheimer’s. The numbers have been fairly steady, but that may be about to change.
“Those Baby Boomers are coming into that age range of about 65 so the prediction is that those numbers are going to skyrocket,” Ricklefs says. “It’s very frightening because predominantly with the Baby Boomers, it’s a female generation and predominantly with Alzheimer’s disease, it’s a female-related disease.” For more information, visit “www.alz.org” or call 800-272-3900.
Contributed by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City