Do you often find yourself forgetting things? Or do you perhaps have a history of Alzheimer’s in the family?
It is important that you catch the illness early to begin preventative treatment and prevent it from worsening. The following is a list of 9 signs of Alzheimer’s that you should look out for.
It is common to forget one or two things occasionally, such as names. However, if your memory loss is severe enough to affect daily functioning, you might want to get it checked out.
People with Alzheimer’s forget things often, and are less likely to remember them afterwards. This usually happens with recent occurrences as Alzheimer’s affects short term memory first, before worsening to affect long term memory.
This can take the form of forgetting recently learned information or repeating the same story over and over. If you notice a loved one starting to rely more and more on memory aids (such as sticky notes), treat it as a warning sign.
Difficulty Performing Familiar Tasks
If you find that you face difficulty performing familiar tasks that you have always been able to carry out with no trouble, this may be a sign of Alzheimer’s.
Examples of such tasks include preparing a meal or balancing a checkbook.
This is especially because Alzheimer’s affects one’s ability to handle numbers and calculations. The person’s ability to handle day to day chores such as cleaning and shopping may also be affected. Difficulty in performing familiar tasks may also manifest in activities such as playing a familiar game or singing a familiar song.
Problems With Language
One symptom of Alzheimer’s is that the person will face problems with language.
It usually starts with being unable to follow a conversation or to join in the conversation. It also often takes the form of being unable to find a suitable word. In slightly more severe cases, the person may have difficulty with vocabulary, calling things by the wrong name.
The person may also ramble on endlessly and repeat phrases, forgetting or being unable to put together a coherent thought. This phenomenon of having issues with using and understanding language is called aphasia, and is a rather prominent symptom of Alzheimer’s that you can look out for.
Everyone forgets what they intended to do, or the day of the week, once in a while. But if a person has Alzheimer’s, he or she could suddenly become lost, even if they were in a familiar place, and they would have no clue as to how they got there or where to go from there.
A person with Alzheimer’s might also face some trouble comprehending the passage of time, and might be unable to understand something that happened at another time (i.e. in the past or the future). They might also get into a lot of minor fender benders due to errors in orientation, even if they used to be excellent and safe drivers.
Poor Or Decreased Judgement
A symptom that is partly related to disorientation, poor or decreased judgement can also suggest that a person has Alzheimer’s disease.
So if your loved one shows signs of making questionable decisions, especially if they have always been rational in terms of decision-making, it could be a sign of the onset of Alzheimer’s.
This lapse in judgement could take the form of leaving a toddler alone in a house or wearing heavy clothing on a hot day. Giving large amounts of money to telemarketers may be another sign, as can be poor personal grooming.
Of course, if that person has been that way since young then it is probably not a good idea to jump to conclusions.
Problems With Abstract Thinking
If a person has trouble understanding spatial concepts and relationships or visual images, it could be a sign of Alzheimer’s. In fact, having vision problems is reason enough to have a check-up conducted, just to be on the safe side.
This vision problem may take the form of being unable to judge distances accurately, an inability to read, or wrongly determining color or contrast. Cognitive function may also be impaired. These are extremely dangerous as it may put the person at risk of bodily harm, especially if the person drives.
Everyone has probably misplaced something at one time or another. For instance you may forget where you left your keys.
Misplacing items often or placing items in inappropriate places (e.g. a watch in the freezer) can be a sign of Alzheimer’s.
However, you shouldn’t jump to conclusions just because you have misplaced something. You should only get it checked out if you misplace objects fairly often and are unable to retrace your steps to find your things. People with Alzheimer’s may also accuse others of stealing their things.
Changes In Mood, Behavior Or Personality
If you notice a drastic change in a person’s mood, behavior or personality, do not take it lightly because it could be a sign of Alzheimer’s. Everyone experiences changes in mood occasionally, but people with Alzheimer’s can exhibit mood swings (albeit extreme ones) for no obvious reason at all.
They usually also act out of character. Often, moods such as depression and anxiety will manifest, as will signs of paranoia. These changes are one of the easiest symptoms to spot, so do be sure that you know what to look out for as the depression could escalate if left untreated.
Loss Of Initiative
People with Alzheimer’s may become passive and lose initiative, especially with social activities. This is somewhat linked to the changes in mood and behavior.
They will then require prompting to get involved in a certain activity, and even then, they may not enjoy it much. If a loved one used to be extremely outgoing and enjoyed social activities, but has suddenly become reserved and anti-social, do encourage him or her to have a checkup conducted just to be on the safe side.
You should also look out for the previously mentioned symptoms to be sure.
Written by Eleanor Lewis and published by Vitality News ~ August 21, 2015.
~ The Author ~
Eleanor Lewis had spent 15 long years working for a bank before realizing that she had been living in a fool’s paradise. At 40 now, she is a stay home mom and freelance writer and editor. She loves writing about anything and everything, with favorite topics being parenting, home decorating, and also health and beauty topics.
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