If you’re noticing that your loved one is starting to experience memory loss that is disrupting everyday life, it’s important to recognize that he or she could be in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Unlike the typical memory-related issues that come with aging, like sometimes forgetting what word to use or losing things from time to time, Alzheimer’s symptoms are more serious and should not be ignored.
Here are the common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease as identified by the Alzheimer’s Association:
When most people think about Alzheimer’s disease, they often associate it with memory loss. Those with Alzheimer’s will forget recently learned information, important dates or events, their loved ones’ names, etc.
Having trouble with numbers, like balancing a checkbook or remembering to pay bills on time, or failing to follow through with plans are also signs of Alzheimer’s. They may have difficulty concentrating on the task at hand or take longer to complete projects.
Even familiar, everyday tasks that were once simple can become troublesome for someone with Alzheimer’s disease. For example, driving to the grocery store they’ve been going to for years, properly cleaning a bathroom or remembering to take out the trash.
People suffering from Alzheimer’s tend to get their dates and times mixed up, or can even be confused about what time of the year it is. It’s also common for them to not remember how they arrived at a certain location, or, once there, be unsure of where they are.
Unlike normal age-related vision changes, like developing cataracts or near-sightedness, those with Alzheimer’s may display issues judging how far away an object is or being able to tell what color something is.
Sometimes, we all have trouble finding the right word to express ourselves, but someone with Alzheimer’s will struggle with keeping up or staying part of conversations, or they may call things by the wrong name. Often repeating oneself is also an issue.
Maybe you can’t remember where you put your car keys and have to retrace your steps until you find them. Someone with Alzheimer’s, however, won’t be able to go back over their steps to find the object they misplaced. Or, they may store items in strange places, like putting their wallet in the freezer.
Sadly, seniors with Alzheimer’s are often the perfect target for scam artists, because they’ll use poor judgment when it comes to solicitors or telemarketers. They may also dress inappropriately for the season or forget proper grooming habits.
The changes in memory that come as a symptom of Alzheimer’s can affect a person’s desire to be in social situations. They may no longer enjoy the social activities they used to, like playing cards or watching sports with friends, because they can’t remember the rules of the games.
While it’s typical to sometimes feel down or just not like yourself, someone with Alzheimer’s will experience rapid mood swings, often switching from being happy and content to anxious, angry, or sad for no apparent reason. They might become suspicious of others or easily confused.
Knowing the signs of Alzheimer’s is key to starting proper treatment. While there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, the sooner the diagnosis, the sooner your loved one can receive the care and support he or she needs.