Taking off where we left off.. there are many warning signs, if your loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease. Here are some practical ways to help you pick up Alzheimer’s diseases in your loved ones, early, because the earlier you spot it, the more easy it is to treat. With a simple MMSE test that physicians carry out in 10 minutes, you will be able to start on medication to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in your loved ones. And as with most diseases, the sooner you catch it, the better.
10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer disease to look out for, in the elderly include:
1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life
One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s is memory loss, especially forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates or events; asking for the same information over and over. They could ask their family members, “When will you feed me my lunch?” or “When will you take me for a walk in the park” , when all these have just happened. The Alzheimer’s patient can nomally recall memories of the past but not recent ones.
2. Challenges in planning or solving problems
Some people may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. They may have trouble signing a cheque or giving the right change at the market. They may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did before.
3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
People with Alzheimer’s often find it hard to complete daily tasks. Sometimes, people may have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work or remembering the rules of a favorite game. They forget how to button their shirts or to tie their shoe-laces.
4. Confusion with time or place
People with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. They may not know what year it is. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got to a certain place. They wander to the neighbourhood shop, and forget their way home.
5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer’s. They may have difficulty reading, judging distance and determining color or contrast.
6. New problems with words in speaking or writing
People with Alzheimer’s may have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves. They may struggle with vocabulary, have problems finding the right word for things. They cannot articulate what a “clock” is or what a cute “dog” is.
7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
A person with Alzheimer’s disease may put things in the wrong place. Keys will end up in the fridge. Wallet in the oven. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. Sometimes, they may accuse their loved ones of stealing. It’s can be all very frustrating and stressful for family members who are now deemed as thieves.
8. Decreased or poor judgement
People with Alzheimer’s may experience changes in judgment or decision-making. For example, they make make a wrong call and give a lot of money away to telemarketers. They may also start to have poor hygiene as they forget to take a bath etc.
9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
A person with Alzheimer’s may start to remove themselves from hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports. They may have trouble keeping up with a favorite sports team or remembering how to complete a favorite hobby. They feel confused and suspicious of people around them as they start to understand less. This makes them withdraw into themselves.
10. Changes in mood and personality
The mood and personalities of people with Alzheimer’s can change. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious. Some can actually can even forget their own strength and get a little violent. They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends or in places where they are out of their comfort zone.
Family members who are aware will understand that the Alzheimer’s patient is “not quite themselves”. It’s not their fault, and the sooner we address that these are just manifestations of their waning cognition, the sooner we can help them! All is not lost.. there is hope!
If you like this post, read our Series on Alzheimer’s :