According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. It is a chronic, degenerative disorder affecting the brain, and can lead to problems with memory, behavior, problem solving, and other cognitive tasks. Since more and more of our population is reaching the age of 65+, the number of people living with this disease is expected to rise significantly over the coming years. Fortunately, the amount of Alzheimer elderly care resources have also been on the rise.
Family members and caregivers often report that they wish they had paid more attention to “red flags” that presented long before their loved one was diagnosed. Since the disease is manageable through medical and lifestyle interventions, early detection is key. To this end, it’s helpful to know the early warning signs.
Top 7 Early Signs & Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
Not everyone who gets Alzheimer’s will have the same symptoms. However, there are at least 7 primary ones that can act as early warning signs. So, if you have older parents or other loved ones over the age of 65 (or if you yourself are of that age), then talk to a doctor if you notice any of the following:
1. Difficulty with writing, speaking, and/or word-finding.
It’s often challenging for a person with Alzheimer’s to find the right word. He or she also may frequently call things by the wrong name. While speaking, a person may repeat himself or herself, or even stop mid-sentence and have a difficult time completing their thought. People may also show difficulty with reading, depth perception, and other visual/spatial tasks.
2. Frequently misplacing things.
Its one thing to forget where you put your keys or wallet every once in a while. But if such forgetfulness begins to happen on a regular basis, it could be a sign that something’s amiss. People with Alzheimer’s also tend to have trouble retracing their steps in an attempt to find their lost item. As the disease progresses over time, a person with Alzheimer’s may eventually begin to accuse others of stealing things from him or her. This can be hard for the loved one or caregiver
3. Memory problems that are disruptive to a person’s daily life.
In addition to forgetting where things are, a person showing early warning signs of Alzheimer’s may also have difficulty remembering other things including:
- How to get to somewhere
- Appointments and other important events or dates
- People’s names
These memory problems are more frequent and problematic then common forgetfulness. In advance cases, a person may even forget the date, who the president is, where they are, or how they got there.
4. Withdrawal from normal social activities.
Problems with memory and word-finding can be embarrassing and frustrating. This may make a person not want to be around people or avoid having conversations. A person may also begin to lose interest in favorite hobbies and activities.
5. Uncharacteristically poor judgment.
A person with Alzheimer’s often shows a lack of insight regarding various areas of life. They may make questionable financial choices, become easily overwhelmed while trying to make decisions, or show a lack of care in personal hygiene and overall cleanliness.
6. Noticeable changes in mood and/or personality.
This may be one of the most difficult warning signs of Alzheimer’s, both for the person with the disease and their loved ones. A person may become paranoid, suspicious, sad, anxious, lewd, angry, moody, or fearful.
7. Difficulty with completing familiar tasks or routines.
Things like writing a check, addressing an envelope, playing a board game, following a recipe, or using a computer or cell phone may become challenging to a person with Alzheimer’s–even if these tasks used to be familiar and manageable.
Does a Loved One Have Alzheimer’s? Be Sure to Connect With Alzheimer Elderly Care Services in Your Area
It’s important to realize that older person with these cognitive problems often develops physical frailty and other health issues, too. As their disease progresses, they may require Alzheimer elderly care services. The earlier you can prepare for this process, the better. So, if you live in the Los Angeles or Las Vegas areas and are thinking about Alzheimer elderly care for yourself or a loved one, then contact Dynamic Home Care to learn more about how we can help.