Alzheimer’s Association offers ‘Know the 10 Signs’ program Tuesday

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Emphasizing the importance of early detection, the Alzheimer’s Association’s Georgia chapter will present “Know the 10 Signs” Tuesday. Starting at 10 a.m., the one-hour educational program will be offered at the Bartow County Senior Center’s Zena Drive branch, 102 Zena Drive in Cartersville.

“The goal of this program is to provide compelling information about Alzheimer’s disease to encourage early detection, early diagnosis and early intervention,” said Rebekah Davis, North Georgia Region’s director of programs for the Alzheimer’s Association, Georgia chapter. “The purpose of this workshop is to provide attendees with a greater understanding of the [difference] between age-related memory loss and dementia, and what to do if they have signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

“Some of the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s include memory changes that disrupt daily life, challenges in planning or solving problems, difficulty completing familiar tasks, confusion with time or place, problems with language and decreased judgement. It is important to know the early warning signs because early detection and diagnosis are vital for planning and intervention.”

Due to limited seating, those interested in the complimentary program are encouraged to pre-register by calling 800-272-3900.

“This program is designed for anyone who would like to know more about the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease,” Davis said. “... By the end of the presentation, participants will be able to identify the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease and what to do next if they are experiencing signs of Alzheimer’s; participants will understand what is involved in getting a diagnosis; participants will be able to identify the risks of Alzheimer’s, including connections to other conditions; [and] participants will understand the benefits of early detection.”

The Alzheimer’s Association reports 5.4 million Americans are estimated to be living with Alzheimer’s disease, with 200,000 individuals younger than 65 having younger-onset Alzheimer’s.

According to http://www.alz.org, “Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases.

“... Alzheimer’s worsens over time. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer’s, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Those with Alzheimer’s live an average of eight years after their symptoms become noticeable to others, but survival can range from four to 20 years, depending on age and other health conditions.”

Alzheimer’s recently ascended into the spotlight following the passing of Pat Summitt June 28. The former Tennessee Lady Volunteers basketball head coach publicly announced her Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 2011.

“The Alzheimer’s Association extends sincere condolences to Pat Summitt’s son Tyler, extended family, many friends and countless fans,” stated Harry Johns, president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association in a news release. “Coach Summitt faced Alzheimer’s disease, as only she could, strongly and publicly.

“One of the greatest coaches in the history of sports continued to be an educator and coach off the court, educating so many about Alzheimer’s disease and rallying people to take action and become involved in the Alzheimer’s cause.

Coach Summitt was a courageous advocate for this cause. In honor of her struggle and the challenges faced by millions of Americans, we will continue to aggressively pursue greater awareness, support for families and research that will slow, stop and ultimately cure Alzheimer’s disease.”