Alzheimer’s: What can families do?

This is the second of a two-part article from The Alzheimer’s Association Colorado Chapter.

“Sadly, I believe there are more families out there living with younger-onset Alzheimer’s than we realize,” said Ann Carter, director of the Southern Colorado regional office of Alzheimer’s Association based in Pueblo. “Misdiagnosis and the belief that what people are experiencing can’t really be Alzheimer’s causes cases like this to go unreported.”

Carter encourages families to talk with the Alzheimer’s Association – whether through one of the eight offices scattered across Colorado (Colorado Springs, Denver, Durango, Fort Collins, Grand Junction,

Greeley, Louisville and Pueblo) or through the free 24/7 Helpline (800-272-3900), which is staffed around the clock by trained professional counselors.

“My best advice is that if you are seeing several of the 10 Signs of Alzheimer’s disease, talk with your family physician, and don’t be afraid to get a second opinion,” said Carter. “Our staff can help with guidance on next steps, including getting a diagnosis, support groups, education and more.”

10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease

While every case of Alzheimer’s disease is unique, the most common symptoms of the disease are:

1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life.

2. Challenges in planning or solving problems.

3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks.

4. Confusion with time or place.

5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.

6. New problems with words in speaking or writing.

7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.

8. Decreased or poor judgment.

9. Withdrawal from work or social activities.

10. Changes in mood and personality.

“There are certain risk factors that may increase the odds a person will develop Alzheimer’s, such as diabetes, a head injury, vascular problems, living with anxiety or depression, or a family history of the disease,” said Carter. “There also can be other causes underlying these symptoms, including vitamin deficiencies, reactions to medication, thyroid problems, drug withdrawal or a brain tumor. That is why a physician’s diagnosis is so important.”

To learn more about the Alzheimer’s Association and its educational programs, services, and research for a cure, go to the Colorado Chapter’s website at or call the free 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900. All services are provided at no charge to Colorado families.



The Alzheimer’s Association Colorado Chapter offers education, counseling, support groups and a 24-hour Helpline at no charge to families. In addition, contributions help fund advancements in research to prevent, treat and eventually conquer this disease. The Alzheimer’s Association advocates for those living with Alzheimer’s and their families.

For information call the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 bilingual Helpline at 800-272-3900, or visit