Community Spotlight: The Importance of Early Detection with Alzheimer’s Association - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Oct 6, 2023

Community Spotlight: The Importance of Early Detection with Alzheimer’s Association

Alzheimer’s Association Explains How Early Detection and Diagnosis Can Benefit Individuals with Alzheimer’s

When it comes to looking after the people we care about most, we know that many people will stop at nothing to ensure that their loved ones receive the genuine care they deserve. Recently we sat down with our partners at the Alzheimer’s Association of Northeastern New York to discuss the importance of early detection and diagnosis with Alzheimer’s patients. Continue reading to learn more.


Advancements in Alzheimer’s Treatments


As of January 2023[1] , there are two FDA-approved treatments to slow the progress of Alzheimer’s. Both of these treatments (Leqembi and Aduhelm) target an underlying cause of the disease and can give people more time to be independent, work, enjoy family milestones, and plan for future care. However, both treatments are for people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, making early detection more important than ever.

What Are the Warning Signs for Alzheimer’s?

The Alzheimer’s Association has information on warning signs and what to watch for in yourself or loved ones (Click here to learn more.) While some memory lapses are normal, if memory or cognitive issues disrupt daily life, it’s time to talk to a healthcare provider. Here are some signs to consider:

       Just like our bodies, our brains change as we age. Most of us will eventually notice some slowed thinking, however, one of the most common early symptoms of early Alzheimer’s is difficulty remembering newly learned information. A person may forget a recent event, but still be able to recall detailed memories from their childhood.


       Forgetting a few items on your grocery list is normal, but forgetting how to get home from your normal grocery store is not. Confusion with places and navigation can be an early sign of memory problems.


       Difficulty completing familiar tasks, like cooking a recipe you make often or getting dressed is also a cause for concern. A normal part of aging might be needing some help setting up a new appointment. It’s not unusual to need help with new things, but forgetting regular routines is not a normal part of aging.


       Another warning sign is personality changes, such as becoming suspicious, angry or easily confused in ways that are out of the ordinary. Normal aging might be getting annoyed when someone interrupts your routine.


The Benefits of Early Diagnosis


The earlier an individual is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other memory issues, the more treatment options they will have. Early diagnosis can also mean eligibility for clinical trials of potential new treatments. And in order to find the cure to this disease – which is more likely to be a drug cocktail than a single treatment – we must continue to make progress with clinical treatment trials.


Another benefit to an early diagnosis is that it gives more time to plan for the future. Planning ahead allows you to express your wishes about legal, financial, and end-of-life decisions. You and your family will be able to review and update legal documents, discuss finances and property, and identify your care preferences. You can also address potential safety issues, such as driving or wandering, ahead of time.


If you notice a warning sign and want help with next steps, the Alzheimer’s Association has a 24/7 Helpline that can be reached by dialing (800) 272.3900. They can help navigate difficult conversations with family, prepare for a doctor’s appointment, and find local resources. To learn more about how to approach loved ones about memory concerns, click below.