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Spotlight: Alzheimer’s Association Delaware Valley Chapter

‘Normal aging or something more: Identifying and addressing concerns of cognitive decline

Currently, an estimated 6.5 million Americans 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s disease – including 280,000 in Pennsylvania, according to the Alzheimer’s Association 2022 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report.

While it’s common to experience some issues with memory, thinking and behavior as we age, there is a difference between what’s considered “normal aging” and what is cause for concern.

Memory changes that interfere with daily life could be a sign of something more serious – such as Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) or Alzheimer’s and dementia.

If you or a loved one are experiencing changes with your memory, know that you are not alone.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of MCI and of Alzheimer’s, and taking steps to lead a healthier lifestyle can help prepare you to spot and address changes while living well.

If you’ve noticed any of the signs in yourself, confide in someone you trust.

And, if you’ve noticed memory changes in a relative, friend, or loved one, think about who would be best to approach the person, whether it’s you or another trusted family member or friend.

Have the conversation as soon as possible in a location that will be comfortable for everyone involved.

It’s important, too, that you or your loved ones speak with a healthcare provider if changes are observed.

Several conditions can cause cognitive changes, so it’s essential to obtain a full medical evaluation to determine whether symptoms are related to Alzheimer’s or something else.

Early discussion, detection and diagnosis can be key to planning for the future, and accessing care and support services. 

The Alzheimer’s Association Delaware Valley Chapter provides a wide range of education opportunities and care and support services.

To learn more, visit alz.org/delval or call the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline (800.272. 3900).

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