If you’re looking for something to do this fall, let me suggest finding a Walk to End Alzheimer’s going on near you. It’s as easy as visiting the website and entering your zip code.

Throughout the months of September and October, all across the nation, communities are holding walks to help raise awareness of Alzheimer’s and other dementias and gain support for research. Sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. These events are the perfect lead up to Alzheimer’s Awareness month in November.

The work to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s and other dementias has made great progress in the past few years. Thanks to the work of the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement, Congress has approved increased research funding and allotted $2.4 billion for Alzheimer’s research in 2014. The investment is paying off, with researchers finding some significant genetic risk factors and establishing neuroimaging standards in the past few years, among other things. However, the need for more funding and more research is critical. Researchers are working hard to try to understand this disease better and find new treatments to help keep symptoms at bay.Calming Doll for Alzheimer's and Dementia

Alzheimer’s awareness is a cause that’s near and dear to us at Comfort Companions. It was through her work in nursing homes, with patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia that Janet Tompkins was inspired to design the first Comfort Companion, Daisy, a wonderful stuffed doll that helps bring comfort and security to people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

As our way of helping support Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, we’d like to share the 10 early signs of Alzheimer’s.  If you or someone you love is experiencing these signs, be sure to make an appointment with your doctors. As with many diseases, early detection is important.

10 Early Signs of Alzheimer’s

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life, such as forgetting something you recently learned or forgetting important dates or events.
  2. Challenges in planning or problem solving.
  3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks, such as driving to a familiar location or remembering the rules of a favorite game.
  4. Confusion with time or place.
  5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.
  6. New problems with words in speaking or writing. For example, calling a watch a hand clock.
  7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps to find them.
  8. Decreased or poor judgement, such as with household finances or personal grooming.
  9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
  10. Changes in mood or personality. Someone may act confused, suspicious, fearful or anxious.