A critical step in diagnosing and treating Alzheimer’s is detection. Here are ten signs of Alzheimers symptoms you should act on. As with many latent illnesses, early detection gives greater treatment options and more time to prepare for the onset of the disease. With Alzheimer’s, however, there lies a distinct, differentiating factor: some of the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s look identical to some of the changes and challenges that come with simply aging. Should you notice any of the following signs in yourself or a loved one, a doctor’s appointment should be scheduled.
Changes in Mood and Personality
This is a great example of an issue that could simply relate to aging, or something that might signal a deeper problem. A dramatic and sudden change in attitude, mood or personality – suddenly becoming irritable might not be a red flag, but if that change becomes prolonged, it could be.
Losing Things and Being Unable to Retrace Steps
Misplacing things happens to all of us. As we age, that may become more frequent. One of the best ways to find something you’ve lost is to retrace your steps and locate the item in question. However, a person with Alzheimer’s will not be able to retrace their steps, as they will be unlikely to remember them.
Withdrawing from Work and Social Activities
A person with Alzheimer’s is likely to notice some of the deterioration of abilities that comes with the disease. This deterioration will make it more difficult to perform tasks or enjoy things that they used to, and they will withdraw from these activities due to the difficulty and potential embarrassment involved in not being able to work or play.
Poor Judgment or Bad Decisions
We all sometimes make choices that we later regret, but a person with Alzheimer’s may start to suddenly and regularly make decisions and choices that are not particularly wise, especially pertaining to money. This is part of the reason that so many scam artists target the elderly. Watch closely for changes in personal habits like grooming and changing clothes.
Memory Loss that Disrupts Day-to-Day Living
This is the single biggest flag that may indicate the onset of Alzheimer’s. Memory loss frequently accompanies aging, but when it becomes such that your loved one frequently forgets recently learned information, important dates and times, and asking for the same information over and over again, it might be right to make an appointment with a doctor.
Difficulty Completing Tasks for Work or Play
This warning sign often precedes the third item on this list. Tasks such as driving to the grocery store, playing a game, managing their calendar or balancing a checkbook, become extremely difficult.
Loss of Problem-Solving Abilities
This is slightly different from the previous item in that it involves more analytical tasks, such as following a recipe. A person afflicted by Alzheimer’s will have a hard time following a recipe or playing a crossword puzzle. Though it might take slightly longer, a person without Alzheimer’s should not have such issues.
This one can be difficult to identify, in that cataracts and other vision problems are common among the elderly. The differentiator here is that people with Alzheimer’s have difficulty with judging distance as well as color and contrast – none of which are as problematic for people with other vision issues.
Speaking and Writing Problems
Alzheimer’s may present itself in a powerful way in an ordinary conversation. Should your loved one begin to stop mid-sentence, forget words or otherwise struggle to maintain a normal conversation, they may be afflicted with Alzheimer’s. A person with Alzheimer’s may have significant difficulty carrying on a conversation, even with an old friend.
Confusion with Time or Place
A person with Alzheimer’s may get confused about things like seasons or days of the week. Most importantly, they may forget where they are or how they got there, which has the potential to be a safety hazard.
At Comfort Home Care, we understand the many challenges that can come along with Alzheimer’s. As you can see, the illness can come with a variety of challenges and issues, many of which have the ability to make daily life uncomfortable and even difficult. Our trained professionals are ready to help.