10 Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease, Part One

By: | Tags: , , | Comments: 0 | September 8th, 2015

This article is Part One of a two part series. Check back next week to read Part Two.

As people age, it is normal to encounter a certain degree of memory problems. However, people affected by Alzheimer’s symptoms tend to express more problematic and debilitating behaviors then simple memory lapses. People with Alzheimer’s Disease, or another form of dementia, typically experience memory loss, changes in behavior, and a decline in functioning severe enough to disrupt their daily life.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are several common symptoms that may help to identify the difference between normal memory loss and potential indications of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

The only way to accurately determine if someone has Alzheimer’s or dementia is to consult with a physician.  If you notice an aging parent or loved one suddenly demonstrating a change in their level of functioning, and you are concerned they are exhibiting signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention.  Early diagnosis is advantageous for the individual and their family, as both support and care are most effective when implemented as early as possible.

Early Warning Signs and Typical Behaviors Include:

1. Memory Loss.

Warning Sign: An inability to remember new information is a typical early sign of dementia. Additionally, the need to be told the same information repeatedly and failing to recall important events, including dates or memories, are common symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

Typical: Occasional moments of forgetfulness that are later remembered, such as forgetting an appointments, being unable to recall someone’s birthday, or not remembering to pick up the dry cleaning.

2. Speaking or Writing Issues.

Warning Signs: Forgetting simple words, or misusing common words, is often a feature of Alzheimer’s disease. As a result, it may be difficult to follow a conversation or read the writing of someone with the disease. Needing to be prompted to recall common words may be incited by statements like “that thing for the coffee”, when trying to remember the word “mug”.

Typical: Struggling to find appropriate ways to express sensitive subjects, or briefly pausing in conversation to consider the right word.

3. Familiar Tasks Become Difficult.

Warning Signs: The typical steps associated with standard daily activities may become challenging for people with dementia. Cooking a meal or using the television remote may prove confusing and complicated, as people with dementia may struggle to recall the steps required or forget what they were doing halfway through.

Typical: Momentary lapses of distraction, such as walking into a room to grab something and forgetting what it was.

4. Inability to Find Misplaced Things.

Warning Signs: Remembering where things around the home typically go may become difficult for people with dementia. Moreover, they also may be unable to trace their steps to relocate where they placed something. The result is objects ending up in odd places, such as purses in the refrigerator or kitchen tools in the linen closet.

Typical: Misplacing items, but being able to retrace steps to locate it.

5. Time and Place Confusion

Warning Signs: Disorientation in familiar places, or forgetting where you are, how you got there, or why you are there is a common sign of Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, losing track of large periods of time, or becoming confused about what place in time it currently is.

Typical: Getting lost in a new place, or momentarily forgetting the day of the week, but recalling it later.

 

This article is Part One of a two part series. Check back next week to read Part Two.

 

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