Understanding the Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease: Difficulty Solving Problems and Completing Tasks

Seniors having trouble paying bills due to the common signs of Alzheimer'sIn Part One of our series on understanding the common signs of Alzheimer’s disease, we discussed disruptive memory loss and changes in personality or mood. While those two symptoms may be most often associated with the condition, the Alzheimer’s Association designated several others – 10 in total – to be cognizant of, too. In this post, we’ll discuss two more Alzheimer’s symptoms: Difficulty solving problems and completing tasks.

Alzheimer’s disease starts off slowly, with symptoms gradually increasing over time. While some of the milder signs of Alzheimer’s disease may arise in many older adults, it’s important to keep in mind that developing the disease is not a normal part of the aging process.

Signs of Alzheimer’s: Difficulty Solving Problems

Everyone experiences Alzheimer’s differently. There’s no way to know how long any of the symptoms may last or how quickly they will progress. Because it affects memory and cognition, many individuals experience a trickle-down effect, in which other areas of their lives become impacted.

Making simple mistakes in your checkbook, for instance, or struggling to figure out the price of an item on sale for 25% off are common problems everyone may deal with from time to time. However, if you’re having trouble making and following a plan, understanding a recipe, or you’re making incorrect payments on your bills repeatedly, these could be symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Or, perhaps you’re having difficulty concentrating and are taking much longer to do things than you used to do in the past. These are also changes in your lifestyle that shouldn’t be ignored.

Signs of Alzheimer’s: Difficulty Completing Tasks

Along with difficulty solving problems, having trouble completing everyday tasks are also one of the common signs of Alzheimer’s disease. What are some tasks those with Alzheimer’s disease experience difficulty with? Here’s just a few:

  • Driving to the grocery store or other familiar location
  • Remembering the rules to a favorite game
  • Managing the budget and properly balancing the checkbook
  • Forgetting the ingredients needed, and the steps taken, when making a favorite recipe
  • Dressing appropriately for the weather

On the other hand, having trouble with some of the more complicated tasks, like setting up a new TV system or DVR (and figuring out the remote control!) or using a new laptop or mobile phone are generally normal aging-related issues. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with some of these more complex tasks; your children or grandchildren are most likely happy to assist you!

Knowing the signs of Alzheimer’s disease is key to an early diagnosis that could delay the progression of some of the symptoms and improve your quality of life. Stay tuned for part three of this series for more information.

American Senior Communities offers a person-centered, wellness-based model of dementia care within our Auguste’s Cottage program and our assisted living memory care apartments throughout our locations. Contact us today to request more information.

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