Alzheimer’s Association Desert Southwest Chapter

By Lynette Carrington

Alzheimer’s Association Desert Southwest Chapter

Now that the holiday season is upon us, we will be seeing family, friends and loved ones at parties, dinners and get-togethers. Especially in older family members and friends, there may be warning signs that someone you care about might be struggling with early memory loss or Alzheimer’s disease.

Director of Programs and Advocacy for Alzheimer’s Association Desert Southwest Chapter, James Fitzpatrick has shared some timely and helpful tips of things to be aware of this holiday season. To help identify memory challenges early, the Alzheimer’s Association has created a list of warning signs.

10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease:

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  • Challenges in planning or solving problems
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks
  • Confusion with time or place
  • Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
  • New problems with words in speaking or writing
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  • Decreased or poor judgment
  • Withdrawal from work or social activities
  • Changes in mood and personality

For someone who already has Alzheimer’s or dementia, the holidays can be a confusing time. Discussing holiday celebrations ahead of time with other family members to alert them of someone who is living with Alzheimer’s will let everyone know what to expect. Also, don’t try to take on too much or involve someone with Alzheimer’s in too many activities as it could lead to further stress and confusion.

Involving someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia in the holidays can be as easy as having them help with holiday food preparation, gift wrapping, baking or involving them in family holiday traditions or singing. Some thoughtful gifts for those with either disease include comfortable, easy-to-remove clothing, identification bracelets and gifts of music or videos and photo albums.

Every 67 seconds someone new is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. Alzheimer’s Association works to provide care and support for those living with the disease and their families while also accelerating the advancement of Alzheimer’s research.

James Fitzpatrick states, “It is easy to support our programs and services. Simply go online to and click the ‘donate’ button. Or, you can call our office at (602) 528-0545 and make a donation over the phone.”

The Alzheimer’s Association Desert Southwest Chapter office is located at 1028 E. McDowell Rd., Phoenix. Call (602) 528-0545 or visit for additional information. To access the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 helpline call 1 (800) 272-3900.