Alzheimer’s disease has affected numerous families throughout the UK, and it has recently made headlines after Fiona Phillips revealed her diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s. As one of the most common forms of dementia, early diagnosis is crucial for accessing appropriate support options.
While some signs of Alzheimer’s are expected, others may come as a surprise. Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that gradually impairs memory, thinking, and reasoning abilities.
When people with Alzheimer’s get behind the wheel, they may experience difficulty in recalling the route to a familiar location.
Additionally, a lesser-known symptom of the disease is the struggle to perceive colour or contrast, which can be noticeable while driving.
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According to the Alzheimer’s Association: “For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer’s. This may lead to difficulty with balance or trouble reading. They may also have problems judging distance and determining colour or contrast, causing issues with driving,” It is important to note that these vision problems should not be mistaken for age-related changes in vision or cataracts.
A recent survey conducted by the Alzheimer’s Society revealed only one in three individuals inform their doctors about dementia symptoms experienced by themselves or their loved ones within the first month.
The majority of people remain silent, primarily because they are unsure which symptoms are indicative of dementia and which are simply a part of normal aging. The survey, which involved 1,100 participants, indicated that 33 percent of individuals keep their concerns to themselves for over a month.
The survey also found only 15 percent of people address the issue immediately, while 11 percent admitted to never raising their concerns even after noticing the first symptom.
Dr Amir Khan, a resident doctor on ITV’s Lorraine and Good Morning Britain, emphasised the need to change the perception that dementia is an inevitable part of aging. He said: “A third of us will go on to develop dementia in our lifetimes – we need to change the idea that getting dementia is inevitable as we age – it’s not called getting old – it’s called getting ill.”
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