Have you been finding yourself forgetting the small stuff lately, or maybe sometimes even forgetting the big stuff? Maybe you can’t remember where you put your keys, or what you walked into a room for – hey, it happens to the best of us! It’s normal to have bouts of forgetfulness as you age, but if it’s happening more and more often, you might be worried that what you’re experiencing is the beginning of Alzheimer’s disease. If your forgetfulness is impacting your life – for example, if you’re forgetting to pay your bills, or beginning to find things in odd places, or even if you can’t find the right words – these could be signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s. It is important to recognize the early signs of Alzheimer’s so you can seek treatment, which can help slow the progression of the disease.
Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. Being forgetful is a normal part of aging, but Alzheimer’s is not. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, and it tends to worsen over time, resulting in the loss of the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to your environment. It does eventually lead to death: it’s the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. On average, a person can live 4-8 years with Alzheimer’s, but some can live up to 20 years, especially if it is treated early.
As we said, Alzheimer’s unfortunately has no cure, but there is a new drug, Aduhelm, that has been approved to help reduce cognitive and functional decline. For this drug to be as effective as possible, it needs to be administered in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. This drug is one of the few available to treat the disease, but researchers are continuing to work on figuring out the causes of Alzheimer’s, as well as ways to treat and hopefully even prevent it.
As we have already stated, and cannot stress enough, treating Alzheimer’s in its early stages is the best way to help slow down its progression and give hope for a longer life. Signs to look for include:
- Persistent forgetfulness– We don’t mean the regular everyday forgetfulness that most people experience once in a while, such as forgetting to take out the trash or where you put something. Persistent forgetfulness means you find yourself becoming more dependent on your phone reminding you of everyday tasks, needing to write everything down so you don’t forget, or asking the same question over and over because you don’t remember the answer.
- Poor judgment– With Alzheimer’s, you will find yourself becoming more susceptible to scams or making poor choices with money because your judgment is impaired. You might even lack the judgment to know what you should wear or find yourself wearing the same thing many days in a row.
- Trouble with directions– You might find yourself getting lost more often, even on routes that you normally drive or are used to. If you find yourself having trouble getting to places that you often go, it may be something to see the doctor about.
- Mood swings– You might find yourself getting more easily frustrated during normal activities, or might suddenly get anxious or fearful for an unknown reason.
- Withdrawing– You might not be interested in spending time with your family and friends, and might not want to participate in activities you normally would love to do. This might be because you have a hard time concentrating on what is going on, which leaves you upset, so you just choose to avoid these situations altogether
- Difficulty finding the right words– We all forget a word here and there, even though it is on the tip of our tongue. But if you find this happening more often and you have a hard time following along with a conversation or finding the right words, this could be a sign of something more serious.
If you find yourself dealing with one or more of the aforementioned early signs, it’s important to talk to your doctor. Early treatment can mean a longer and more fulfilling life, so don’t ignore the symptoms and allow the disease to progress. Medicare will cover testing, and the cost of medication, but as with all treatments, Medicare Part B will only cover 80%, leaving you to pay for the other 20% out-of-pocket. This can be quite expensive, especially if you are living on a fixed income, as many Medicare beneficiaries are. Fortunately, though, you can save money on all your medical expenses and get extra coverage by purchasing a Medicare Supplement Plan.
There are 10 different Medicare Supplement Plans to choose from, each offering different coverage options and rates. It’s worth looking into a Medicare Supplement Plan to save as much money as you can, so speak to an EZ agent for all of your options. EZ’s agents work with the top-rated insurance companies in the nation and can compare plans for you in minutes at no cost. To get free instant quotes for plans that cover your current doctors, simply enter your zip code in the bar on the side, or to speak to a licensed agent, call 888-753-7207.