Spotting signs of Alzheimer’s disease can be difficult because they often masquerade as forgetfulness or other natural symptoms of getting older. People with Alzheimer’s have difficulty thinking, learning, communicating, and reasoning, and these problems can cause obstacles in their everyday life. Someone struggling with dementia may experience a negative impact on their job, social life, and family relationships because of their symptoms.
The Alzheimer’s Association has created a list of ten warning signs often prevalent in people in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s disease. However, there is no still no foolproof way to differentiate between warning signs of Alzheimer’s and normal, age-related changes in memory, so it is recommended that you have a doctor assess the situation. It is important for people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s to get information, support, and memory care early on, especially if the diagnosed person’s function levels are declining.
1. Memory loss that affects daily life
A common sign of early dementia is memory loss and forgetting recently learned information. Forgetting important events or dates, relying on notes and family members to keep track of things they previously remembered on their own, and repeatedly asking for the same information are also warning signs of Alzheimer’s.
Symptoms of typical, age-related changes includes memory loss and occasionally forgetting names and appointments but remembering them later.
2. Difficulty in completing familiar tasks
A common symptom of Alzheimer’s is difficulty to complete daily tasks. Failing to remember how to go to a familiar place or losing track of steps involved in calling a loved one also qualify as warning signs.
A sign of natural, age-related changes is occasionally needing assistance to use the settings on a computer or other device you are unfamiliar with. This also includes occasionally forgetting what you were about to say or what you needed from a room you just entered.
3. Challenges in understanding spatial relationships and visual images
A warning sign of Alzheimer’s is a noticeable change in visual processing. Vision problems like difficulty judging distance, reading, and determining contrast or color may cause problems with everyday life, like driving.
A symptom of normal, age-related changes is impaired vision due to cataracts or other eye-related problems.
4. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
A common symptom of dementia is losing track of valuables or frequently putting their things in odd places. A loss of the ability to retrace their steps is a sign of Alzheimer’s and this can sometimes lead to the affected person accusing others of stealing.
A sign of typical, age-related changes is sometimes misplacing your belongings and retracing your steps later to find them.
5. Withdrawal from social functions
A warning sign of dementia is removing themselves from social activities because of their recent changes. A withdrawal from hobbies, social events, and other passionate work is not normal and a sudden decrease in interest should be taken seriously. People with Alzheimer’s often sleep much more often and don’t have the energy to perform daily activities.
A sign of common, age-related changes is sometimes feeling tired of performing social obligations at work, home, and in everyday life.
6. Trouble solving problems
A common symptom of Alzheimer’s is having trouble creating and executing a plan or following a familiar recipe. Other symptoms include difficulty performing challenging mental tasks or having unusual trouble concentrating. People with this symptom will often find it hard to do simple things they once did frequently.
A sign of typical, age-related changes is finding it challenging to work with numbers or occasionally making errors when balancing a checkbook.
7. Confusion with time and place
A common sign of dementia is losing track of important dates, seasons, and the general passage of time. People with Alzheimer’s can become lost in their neighborhood or other familiar locations and forget where they are or how to get home.
A sign of normal, age-related changes is forgetting where you are going or occasionally being confused about the day of the week.
8. New problems with speaking and/or writing
A warning symptom of dementia is having difficulty following a conversation or remembering simple words. People with dementia often substitute these simple words with unusual ones and struggle with vocabulary.
A sign of natural, age-related changes is occasionally having trouble thinking of the right word.
9. Poor judgment
A common sign of Alzheimer’s is showing poor judgment when dealing with money or other responsibilities. Other symptoms include dressing inappropriately for the weather and a decrease in personal hygiene.
A sign of typical, age-related changes is sometimes making bad decisions.
10. Changes in personality and mood
A warning sign of Alzheimer’s is rapid mood swings and a change in personality. People with dementia may become anxious, confused, depressed, suspicious, and are often easily upset when outside of their comfort zone.
A sign of normal, age-related changes is sometimes being upset or moody, or being annoyed when your routine is interrupted.
Dementia Care Services Available
Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are very common among seniors today. While we still have yet to find a cure, there are a number of treatment options available to help your loved one feel more comfortable.
The home care services provided at Assisting Hands Home Care can be customized specifically for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, working with them to help them feel comfortable and safe in their own home. Our caregivers are carefully screened, background-checked, certified, and experienced in handling these cases.
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Give us a call at (847) 448-0844 to learn more about our dementia and Alzheimer’s care services to schedule a free consultation. We proudly serve the northwestern Chicago suburbs of Schaumburg, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates as well as Park Ridge, Niles, Norridge, IL and the surrounding areas.