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The Early Signs of Alzheimer’s

Checking for Glaucoma — What do I do?

Gregory Gurbikian

President/CEO at Healthcare Solutions Direct, LLC, a nationwide insurance agency focused primarily on the retiree health market.

More than six million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, a progressive, irreversible brain disorder that slowly chips away at a person’s memory and thinking skills. It can even impact language and impact a person’s ability to manage their day-to-day life.

While Alzheimer’s can affect people at any age, it’s more common for those 65 and above. In fact, the number of people living with Alzheimer’s doubles every five years starting at age 65.

There is likely not a single cause for Alzheimer’s, but there is currently no cure. Even though much research is done, there is still a lot that scientists need to learn to provide effective treatments. One of the best things you can do now is know the initial signs of the disease in order to diagnose it early and try to slow it down.

Watch for the early signs

Although many of us associate getting older with being forgetful, and maybe a little less coordinated, aging does not mean memory problems. When memory loss becomes so frequent that it begins disrupting your daily life, you are most likely experiencing a warning sign of dementia, which includes Alzheimer’s.

Feeling lost in what should be familiar places, or constantly repeating the same question over and over, are more serious issues that are related to memory loss. Just forgetting a person’s name once or twice or needing help to remember the title of the movie you saw last week may not be a sign of Alzheimer’s. There is a significant difference between these types of forgetfulness, but it is certainly something to pay close attention to as you age.

Other issues potentially related to Alzheimer’s can also manifest early enough to warn you to act. These will include the following:

· Having trouble with planning or solving problems. Things like remembering to pay bills or following an old recipe you have had memorized for years can be a sign.

· Finding it difficult to complete familiar tasks whether at home or at work such as using a cell phone or finishing up a shopping trip.

· Losing track of dates or getting the times wrong on planned events.

· Struggling with balance so that you find yourself spilling or dropping things more often.

· Experiencing hardship in following or joining conversations.

· Misplacing things around the house and struggling to work backwards or finding it hard to retrace your steps to find them.

· Noticing irregular changes in mood, personality, or behavior. Some might experience a loss of interest in socializing.

These changes, coupled with age and a family history of Alzheimer’s, may put you at higher risk for developing the disease yourself. Issues like these can start small and be very subtle. Your brain may change well in advance of your first real symptoms appearing for Alzheimer’s. If you happen to notice any of these early signs happening frequently, make sure to take note.

Get an annual wellness check

At any point, if you begin experiencing early signs of Alzheimer’s you should discuss these issues with your doctor as soon as possible. Even if they are not ultimately related to Alzheimer’s, keeping your doctor aware of any changes in your mental, physical, and cognitive health is very important.

You should also check your cognitive health as part of your annual wellness exam with your doctor. As a component of Medicare Part B, your well check covers a cognitive impairment assessment to look for early signs of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. This means every 12 months you can get tested to watch for the emergence of early Alzheimer’s signs without an additional cost. This is a very valuable preventative service available to those on Medicare.

Take advance action

Should you get a diagnosis or have high risk for the disease there is some preventative action that may also help slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s. These steps may also reduce your risk of any cognitive decline. However, taking advance action may require you to make some major changes to your daily routine. They are worth it though, so consider making these part of your day-to-day:

· Eating healthy food choices.

· Scheduling even it is short periods of physical activity.

· Planning time for socializing with friends and family.

· Sitting down for some mentally stimulating activities that really challenge you, like crossword puzzles and brain teasers.

Most of these lifestyle choices can also help you maintain your mental health and overall well-being so there are many reasons to incorporate them into your day.

Medical insurance is crucial to properly care for Alzheimer’s

Because Alzheimer’s is a progressive, and even a fatal disease, costs for long-term care are often high. Having proper medical insurance means adequate coverage to not only minimize costs, but also to enable you to get proper preventative care on a regular basis.

If you are a Medicare beneficiary, but you are unsure of the extent of your coverage, contact Healthcare Solutions Direct. We will work with you to evaluate your current plan and

recommend any additional coverage to help customize your plan to your specific healthcare needs. Medicare Part B gives you the coverage you need to catch early signs of Alzheimer’s through preventative care but if you are concerned about any other specific conditions, we are here to answer your insurance questions. We want you to feel comfortable with your own Medicare plan. Contact us today to learn more.

Contact Healthcare Solutions Direct to understand your options

Finding the right Medicare plan for your personal needs is essential to maintaining both physical and mental health in an affordable way. While getting the right coverage is important, finding the balance between care and cost is too. Let the insurance experts at Healthcare Solutions Direct help you navigate your Medicare plan options. We represent the major Medicare carriers in the US, allowing us to pinpoint the best choice for you. After pairing you with the right plan, we walk you through the entire process, supporting you the entire way. To learn more, contact us today.

The information provided here is not investment, tax or financial advice. You should consult with a licensed professional for advice concerning your specific situation.

Gregory Gurbikian

President/CEO of Healthcare Solutions Direct, a nationwide insurance agency focused primarily on the retiree health market. Read Gregory Gurbikian’s full executive profile here.

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