Alzheimer’s disease is a life-altering disease that requires continuous monitoring and care. The earlier it is identified and diagnosed, the better the prognosis is for the individual. In order to allow an elderly loved one to enjoy their life more fully for as long as possible, look for these 10 Alzheimer’s warning signs.
1 – Memory Loss
The most commonly recognized Alzheimer’s warning sign is a loss of memory that makes everyday tasks more difficult. People forget important dates and appointments, need to write themselves more notes to remember basic things they always remembered before, and increasingly repeat requests for the same information.
2 – Difficulty Finding Solutions or Making Plans
When faced with a problem or a task that needs to be done, people suffering from early Alzheimer’s will find it increasingly challenging to come up with the right path to take to accomplish the goal. Regular activities also become more challenging, such as balancing their budget or following the instructions for a craft.
3 – Problems Completing Usual Tasks
Even regular tasks that do not require learning a new series of steps can cause trouble for these individuals. If someone suddenly cannot play their favorite game or drive to the store they’ve been going to for years, it may be an early warning sign of Alzheimer’s.
4 – Becoming Disconnected From Time
Individuals will begin to have a difficult time discerning how long ago something happened, how soon something will happen in the future, or how frequently something happens. They may not remember what year it is, and they may believe they are at a different age or stage of their life.
5 – Struggling to Follow Conversations or Find the Right Words
Losing their train of thought in the middle of the conversation, having trouble finding a normal word for something, or making up new words for an everyday object can all be signs of Alzheimer’s. For example, a person may begin to call a banana “yellow fruit” instead, and not remember the word “banana” at all.
6 – More Frequent Loss of Items
While losing track of objects is a frequent complaint as people get older, it can be a sign of Alzheimer’s as well, especially if the items turn up in very odd places. People with this affliction have trouble retracing their steps to determine where they put down the TV remote or their house keys.
7 – Increasingly Poor Judgment
There is a whole world of scammers and telemarketers out there who prey on the elderly. People with early Alzheimer’s must be especially protected since their judgment suffers. They are more likely to give away money or share private information. Poor judgment can also extend into the realm of self-care and hygiene, regulating food intake, and what types of projects they are capable of doing.
8 – Visual Difficulties with Space, Color and Contrast
People with early Alzheimer’s may find it difficult to differentiate colors in pictures, have issues with perspective or depth perception, and not be able to notice differences in how bright or dark something is.
9 – Depression, Apathy and Disinterest
Depression is quite common in Alzheimer’s patients, and a general lack of interest in normal activities can signify its onset. People who notice their own decline may withdraw because they are embarrassed that they can no longer keep up with a favorite activity or engage in conversation like they used to.
10 – Inappropriate and Out-of-Character Behavior
Some warning signs of Alzheimer’s can be quite shocking to the family and friends of the afflicted. These may include criminal activities such as shoplifting, the compulsion to undress in inappropriate places, and eating things that are inedible or injurious.