Have you noticed changes in a loved one’s mental and/or physical abilities? Is your loved one asking the same questions repeatedly, or having trouble managing their accounts? Are you worried about their ability to grasp short-term memories? If so, your loved one may want to become familiar with the signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.
There are 10 signs or symptoms to watch for if you feel you or a loved one may be at risk for Alzheimer’s Disease. Do you or your loved one match up with any of these signs?
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life? Does your loved one remember high school prom…but not to turn off the stove? Or what his or her home address is?
- Challenges in planning or solving problems. Do you find your loved one is baffled by some of the simplest activities of daily living? Follow-through often is difficult with this person.
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks? Has mom or grandma forgotten how to do her own laundry? How to receive text messages?
- Confusion with time or place? Is your loved one ever disoriented, seemingly lost in a familiar environment? Or have they often thought an event was one day, only to discover it was the next (or had passed)?
- Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships? Does dad or grandpa understand the photograph you are showing him of Aunt Ida? Or does he realize she has been gone for 25 years?
- New problems with words in speaking or writing? Word salad, as it is often called, is when the words are all words, but the order doesn’t make sense. Sometimes it’s words. Other times it’s remembering how to draw a capital T.
- Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps? Who hasn’t? But in this case, it becomes a regular occurrence. Phones being one of the first things to be “lost.” Remembering where and when you were in your daily travels becomes more confusing.
- Decreased or poor judgment? Your loved one and your doctor will evaluate changes in judgment (like whether your loved one can drive or not). Online or telephone scammers target seniors for this very reason.
- Withdrawal from work or social activities? When a loved one shuns formerly well-loved activities or work or friends, it may be because they are confused and feel nervous about being “discovered” as such.
- Changes in mood or personality? Formerly docile grandma now finds fault with everything from the temperature in the house (too cold) to the way grandson combs his hair. Things that seem trivial become more urgent causing mood, and even personality changes.
If you’ve noticed that things on this list that have changed suddenly or over time, your loved one may have started to develop Alzheimer’s Disease.
For more information, go to alz.org. The Alzheimer’s Association is there to help you on your journey. They’re a great resource. You don’t have to go on the journey alone. Call us today to learn more.
We are there to help. Our staff has a combined 40 years of experience and we specialize in the evaluation of care of those with dementia or Alzheimer’s.