The impact of Alzheimer’s disease is growing. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. What’s more, it is the only cause of death in the top 10 that can not be prevented, or cured. Knowing these facts means that it is important to know the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s.
The Alzheimer’s Association is careful to point out that this varies from normal age-related memory loss. It is normal as we age to forget names or appointments and recall them later on. However, when looking at memory loss as a warning sign of Alzheimer’s, there are additional things to look for, such as repeatedly asking for information, or relying more and more heavily on others to remember things.
Problem Solving and Planning
It is perfectly normal to experience difficulties at times with planning when juggling a busy calendar. Likewise, it is difficult to attack problems that just don’t seem to have answers. However, when considering the warning signs of Alzheimer’s, this may become evident in keeping up with monthly bill payments and the ability to follow recipes.
As individuals age, it is normal to need a little extra support with certain tasks. As Alzheimer’s kicks in, tasks may be left incomplete that wouldn’t normally need extra support. Some of these may include the ability to drive to and from a familiar location, remembering the rules of a favorite game, or completing job and work-related tasks.
Difficulty with Time
Alzheimer’s can make the connections with time confusing. While it is perfectly normal to maybe forget what day of the week it is and then remember later, the confusion associated with time in this respect goes much deeper than that. An Alzheimer’s patient may forget what day, month, or year they are in. This can cause them to become easily confused with where they are and whom they are with.
Visual and Spatial Changes
The eyes change over times. As aging sets in, it is not uncommon for optometrists to test for the presence of cataracts. When it comes to visual and spatial changes associated with Alzheimer’s, this may present itself as difficulty with judging distance or even determining color or contrast in objects. Understandably, this can affect driving.
While everyone struggles with finding just the right word at times, a warning sign of Alzheimer’s involves a difficulty with wording as well. Carrying on a conversation, joining in on a conversation, or following spoken information may become difficult.
When considering the misplacement of items and warning signs of Alzheimer’s, this goes beyond losing keys. This warning sign involves misplacing things and being unable to retrace the steps in an effort to find the item or items misplaced.
All toio often there are stories in the news of individuals being taken advantage of due to poor judgement. While no one is a stranger to making a poor decision in life, memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s can only compound this. Money handling and personal hygiene may not be given the attention they once were.
As signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s set in and daily life changes, some individuals may withdraw from activities that were once enjoyed. This may include hobbies, sports, entertainment, or even work. If it is difficult to carry on a conversation or follow a sports activity, it may become easier to pass on the opportunity to be involved. Therefore, withdrawal is a sign to watch for.
Mood and Personality Changes
With life changing drastically, it can become easy to allow fear, doubt, depression, or anxiety to creep in. For those experiencing the warning signs of Alzheimer’s, they may experience these emotions which will affect their mood and even their personality.
For additional information and support regarding Alzheimer’s disease, visit the Alzheimer’s Association. In addition to listing the warning signs, helpful information is provided for caregivers and family members of those that may be or are suffering from Alzheimer’s.