A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s can be life changing for a senior and those close to them. When the situation progresses to a certain point, professional, skilled care is a better strategy for dealing with the symptoms. There are early warning signs indicating onset of Alzheimer's that family members and caregivers should be aware of. Let's take a look at some of the signs below.
It's important to remember that Alzheimer's is a type of dementia and that it presents its own unique set of symptoms that set it apart from the dementia diagnosis. Below are a few of the signs of Alzheimer's disease.
Memory loss is one of the most common signs of Alzheimer's. Consistently asking for things to be repeated, could be a warning sign. Compare this to occasionally forgetting an appointment or name, but remembering it later.
Changes in the ability to work with numbers and details, such as balancing a checkbook or following a familiar recipe. Compare this to occasionally making a mathematical error in a checkbook.
Difficulty with Familiar Tasks
Difficulty with the rules of a favorite game or driving to a familiar locations. Compare to needing help to record a TV show once in a while.
Confusion about Time & Place
Losing track of dates, the season or passage of time can happen with Alzheimer's patients. They may forget how they got to where they are. Compare to someone getting confused about what day of the week it is, but figuring it out later.
Problems Speaking or Writing
With Alzheimer's, it can be difficult for people to join in or keep up with a conversation. They may repeat themselves, or just not be able to follow the conversation. Sometimes not being able to find the right word.
A person with Alzheimer's may lose things, because they simply forgot where they put them. Sometimes they will put things in strange places, and not be able to retrace their steps. They may accuse others of stealing. Compare to occasionally misplacing something, but being able to retrace your steps to find it.
Making poor decisions with money, or not taking care of their hygiene and grooming, could be warning signs. Contrast to the fact that most of us make a bad decision now and then.
Mood & Personality Changes
Becoming easily upset, anxious, afraid when out of their comfort zone could be a sign. Compared to someone who has developed specific ways to do things and becomes irritable when their routine is disrupted.
Trouble Understanding Images
Having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer's for some people. People may have difficulty reading, as well as determining color, distance, and depth. These difficulties can lead to issues with driving and result in loss of license.
Getting lost or confused in familiar places or not recalling how to use a familiar object. Not remembering where they are or how they arrived there also falls into this category.
What To Do
If you are concerned that you or someone you love maybe experiencing symptoms it is always best to schedule an appointment to discuss the situation with your doctor. There are many causes of dementia, including some that are reversible. Symptoms could be the result of something as simple as a vitamin deficiency or urinary tract infection. Either way, it is important to seek a medical opinion to determine next steps.
At Caring Senior Service we are always ready to help seniors and their families by providing professional advice on non-medical care and services. For more information on how to identify signs of Alzheimer's, download our Alzheimer's and dementia guide.