Get ahead and be proactive when dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - This month is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month.
Mark Applegate is from Bolivar and his mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 14 years ago. Applegate said many people don’t realize their family member has the disease.
“The deer in the headlights look is what I call it, I get it all the time, people don’t know anything really about the disease until boom and hits,” said Applegate.
He said at first they didn’t catch it with his mom.
“Well, she didn’t seem like she’s having issues with us,” said Applegate.
He said then there was a quick change.
“Half dozen years down the road, she started coming off the rails on the memory issue and repeating the same things and wandering,” said Applegate.
Applegate said don’t make the mistake, know the warning signs.
“The repeating of words, the memory issues, the functioning, the various functioning issues,” said Applegate. “Talk to the doctor right away.”
He said even now, you can try and prevent the disease. That means eating right, exercising, and keeping your mind active.
“Anything that’s good for your heart is good for your brain, it’s a big thing,” said Applegate.
Applegate said right now is a crucial time to sign up for Alzheimer’s trials. He said he has participated because the next cure could be right around the corner. Applegate said when someone you know is diagnosed, have a team, don’t put it on yourself.
“I’ve known several people in my support group that were so stressed out and being a caregiver, that when the loved one actually outlive them,” said Applegate. “You need a group of people. It’s not a no one needs to do it alone.”
Call this helpline if you need help: 800 272 3900.
Call takers can give you more information on the disease, and what to do, and can direct you to volunteering here in the Ozarks.
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