While it’s normal that we become more forgetful as we age, memory loss that disrupts daily life is not a normal part of aging. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia with more than 6 million people living with Alzheimer’s in the USA. It’s been reported that early diagnosis has resulted in better outcomes. As such, we’ve created a list of warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease to help you identify and get help early.
Memory Loss and Confusion
One of the telltale signs in the earlier stages of Alzheimer’s disease is forgetting recently learned information. Other signs include forgetting important dates or events, repeatedly asking the same questions, and the increasing need to set reminders or have family members remind them.
Having Trouble with Planning and Problem Solving
Another sign is the increased difficulty with planning and problem-solving. In that regard, you may notice that your loved one has more trouble coming up with and sticking to a plan. They may have more trouble following a recipe that they’ve used previously and find it difficult to keep track of datelines or monthly bills.
Difficulty Completing Daily Tasks
People with Alzheimer’s disease often find it difficult to complete daily tasks and may require much more time. They may have trouble getting to a familiar place such as the grocery store that they’ve been to countless times, remembering the rules of a game, or packing the house.
Confusion with Time or Place
If your loved one easily loses track of dates, it may be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease. Your loved one may have difficulty grasping the idea of time and may not understand if things don’t happen immediately. They might also not remember how they got to a certain place or why they’re even there.
Do you start to notice that your loved one who was once social withdraw away or avoids participating in social activities with friends or family? People with Alzheimer’s disease tend to withdraw from participating in social activities or hobbies as they may be unable to hold or follow a conversation.
Changes in Mood and Personality
It is noticed that persons with Alzheimer’s disease experience changes in their moods and personalities. As such, look out for signs such as your loved one appearing confused, anxious, fearful, depressed, or even suspicious in response to things that they aren’t familiar with such as if they’re not in their comfort zone.
Misplacing Things More Often
Although it’s normal for everyone to misplace their things once in a while, repeatedly misplacing things and not being able to retrace your steps to locate them again may be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease. You might also notice strange behavior in that your loved ones are placing their belongings in odd places such as the washer, dryer, or even refrigerator.
When to Get Help
If your loved one is experiencing some or all of the above signs, then your loved one may have Alzheimer’s disease. It’s important to note that your loved one does not need to experience all signs before it is a concern. It’s essential that you discuss any changes in your loved ones’ memory, behavior, and thinking with a healthcare professional or therapist promptly to prevent the symptoms from worsening.