Saint Lucia Alzheimer Association speaks
Friday, October 26, 2018
by Geraldine Bicette-Joseph, GIS

The Saint Lucia Alzheimer and Dementia Association are urging the citizenry of Saint Lucia to find out more about the condition and to seek medical advice to find out whether the disease could be affecting themselves or a family member.

President of the Association, Regina Posvar, said because our brains change as we age, most of us eventually notice some slowed thinking and occasional problems with remembering. However, serious memory loss, confusion, and other major changes in the way our minds work may be a sign that brain cells are failing.

“There are symptoms, and as we age, the brain slows down, but that does not mean that it stops. So when we are having problems and forgetting, it usually means that we will remember later but if we are forgetting and not remembering at all then that is a huge symptom,” Posvar said. “For instance, older people still cook, they still make certain meals, but if they are starting to skip ingredients, then there is a problem even at 65 or older, because that is an automatic memory.”

As Alzheimer’s advances through the brain it leads to increasingly severe symptoms, including disorientation, mood and behavior changes; deepening confusion about events, time and place; unfounded suspicions about family, friends and professional caregivers; and difficulty speaking, swallowing and walking. Before symptoms reach this stage it is advised that medical help is sought.

“Go to the doctor and get tested because there are many symptoms of dementia that mimic the disease. Things like vitamin deficiency, hormonal imbalances, all of those can contribute to the same type of symptoms,” Posvar advised. “The challenge is that if you leave it alone and let it fester, then it can develop into a type of dementia.”

World Alzheimer Month was recognized in September.