Alzheimer's Association pushes you to have tough conversations

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- June is Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness month. And a new survey from the Alzheimer's Association shows many are hesitant to talk about symptoms of the disease.

The new survey by the Alzheimer's Association says 90 percent of Americans would like others to tell them if they're showing signs of memory loss or other cognitive decline. But nearly 75 percent say it would be very challenging to talk to a loved one about the issue. And nearly a third of seniors say they would be afraid to know.

This month, the Alzheimer's Association is encouraging you to have that difficult conversation. They say first, assess the situation. It's not unusual for someone to forget where they parked in the Walmart parking lot, but if they're forgetting loved ones names, that's a concern. Second, begin the conversation by expressing your concern for your loved one, rather than treating it like an intervention. And third, contact your doctor. There are many other conditions that can mimic Alzheimer's, even depression or dehydration. If your loved one does receive a diagnosis of Alzheimer's, those who are already dealing with it say it's better to know early.

Mark Applegate's mom, Brenda, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's about two years ago. She's now in full-time care and in the final stages of the disease.

"Not acknowledging you have something doesn't make it go away," said Applegate. "Hiding your head underneath the sheet doesn't make it go away. The argument against getting checked is that, well there's no cure for it anyway, and that's accurate. But if we had known three or four years ago how bad it was going to be, we would have done a lot more planning everything from important things to the little things."

The Alzheimer's Association offers many services to support those dealing with Alzheimer's. It is also constantly raising money for research and awareness. On e opportunity to join in the fight is this Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m at the offices in the Kickapoo Corners Shopping Center for $5 City Butcher BBQ.

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