Written by Stephanie Koathes

Early signs of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is a disease affecting the brain that leads to a slow decline in memory, and other cognitive skills.

It can be debilitating for the afflicted person, and hard to watch for their loved ones. If you notice these warning signs of Alzheimer’s in yourself or others, don’t brush them aside.

1. Memory loss is one of the most common symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Occasionally forgetting something is normal but people with Alzheimer’s forget recently learned information and important dates or events. They increasingly rely on memory aids or help from others to do things they used to do on their own.

2. Someone with Alzheimer’s may begin to put things in unusual places and lose their ability to retrace their steps.

3. It’s not unusual for an older person to get confused from time to time about the date. Someone with Alzheimer’s however, may lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time entirely. They may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately.

4. A person with Alzheimer’s might forget where they are or how they got there.

5. People with Alzheimer’s may start to have trouble with vocabulary and have to resort to calling things by other names. For example calling a microwave the ‘heat box’ or a watch a ‘hand clock’.

6. Completing daily tasks becomes difficult. A person with Alzheimer’s might have difficulty driving to a familiar location or remembering how to do something they’ve always enjoyed.

7. Following a conversation may be difficult, the person may stop unsure of how to continue or they may repeat themselves.

8. With Alzheimer’s a person begins to have trouble with their judgment or decision-making. For instance, they may consistently make mistakes when handling money. While everyone makes bad decisions occasionally, for a person with Alzheimer’s it is a regular problem.

9. There may be personality or mood changes with Alzheimer’s. The person can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious and become very easily upset when outside of their comfort zone.

10. They may have trouble following instructions, handling number or concentrating.

Sources: Alzheimer’s Association, National Institute on Aging 


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