There are ten early warning signs of Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is a disease that causes problems with critical thinking skills, erratic behavior and memory loss. These symptoms build slowly and progress over time. Eventually the symptoms begin to interfere with a patient’s daily living. These symptoms are not to be confused with simple signs of aging. Not all of these signs are experienced at once, but you may experience some of these indications in varying degrees and it does progress.
- The most common sign is memory loss, specifically not remembering recent information. This type of memory loss is likely to be unsettling for daily living such as forgetting important events or the need to repeatedly ask for the same information time and time again.
- Hardship in completing common daily tasks such as how to drive to a familiar place or remembering how to set an alarm. These are indicators that something is going on that aren’t just related to the aging process.
- A patient may have difficulty in problem solving skills or be challenged by following a plan, such as following directions on a recipe. An Alzheimer’s patient might be unable to work with numbers or stay focused on a simple task that is taking much longer than it normally would.
- Vision problems can be an early indicator of Alzheimer’s. These problems can be related to spatial relationships or judging distance. There may be some difficulty in reading and understanding contrast and color. These symptoms can affect a patient’s ability to drive.
- Losing track of time, forgetting important dates and confusion about location are also signs of Alzheimer’s. A patient may go somewhere and not remember how they got there or not even know where they are.
- Alzheimer’s patients often put things in unusual places and are not able to remember where they put it. They are also unable to retrace their steps to locate something when it has been misplaced. This can evolve into accusations that their items have been stolen.
- Problems in speech and writing can be another warning sign of Alzheimer’s. This might be an inability to join in conversations or complete their train of thought. You might also notice difficulty in using the right vocabulary for something such as calling an “oven” another name such a “cooker”.
- Alzheimer’s patients suffer from mood swings that were not previously experienced. This can be depression, anxiety and confusion or being overly fearful in a situation where they perceive they are outside of their comfort zone. They might also be very suspicious of people due to their confusion
- People with Alzheimer’s will typically withdraw from their normal activities and hobbies. Some of this is due to their confusion about remembering how to do certain things such as their favorite hobby or remembering names at social events. Withdrawing from social activities and work are not uncommon for someone that has Alzheimer’s due to the mood changes that they are experiencing.
- The memory loss from Alzheimer’s results in confusion. This confusion leads to poor decision making ability and impaired judgment capability. This might be a situation that the patient gives large amounts of money away, not understanding the monetary impact. They might also forget to take care of their own personal grooming or keeping up with a proper diet.
These indicators are not normal signs of aging, they are indicators that the brain is suffering from loss of nerve cells and even though these symptoms might not all emerge at once, they will progressively get worse. Normal signs of aging will not progress or advance, they are more like “one time” mistakes. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, call the staff at Senior Care Centers. Let us help you make the decision that will best fit your lifestyle.