Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) has many advantages. In particular, it’s much easier to get an accurate diagnosis. Even better, some symptoms are caused by conditions which may be reversible.
Catching Alzheimer’s Disease early is essential to preserving as much brain function as possible and reducing symptoms.
But how do you know what to look for? And how do you distinguish between symptoms of Alzheimer’s and conditions of normal aging?
Well, Alzheimer’s awareness is the purpose of this primer. Read on as we reveal five common warning signs to be aware of.
Disrupting Memory Loss
The most common symptom to look for is memory loss. Are you experiencing memory problems which are having an adverse effect on your daily life? If so, it could be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease.
Forgetting names and events but remembering them later is a common part of the aging process.
But some signs are more serious.
For example, do you ask people to repeat the same information several times? Do you forget information you just learned? Do you find yourself forgetting major life events? Are you consistently forgetting names, dates, and events?
Consistently Misplacing Things
If you lose things a lot, that doesn’t mean you have Alzheimer’s. It’s very common to lose your keys or the remote, or anything really.
But are you able to retrace your steps? Or do you find lost items in strange places, like the TV remote in the silverware drawer? Do you accuse others of taking your things?
These may be signs of Alzheimer’s disease and are more serious than the normal forgetfulness that comes with aging.
Difficulty Performing Normal Daily Tasks.
Sometimes as we get older, it becomes more difficult to do occasional tasks, like backing up your computer or going through the settings on your DVR.
But those with early Alzheimer’s often find normal routine tasks difficult. Concentration is harder to maintain.
Normal everyday tasks which require critical thought take longer than usual.
Do you or someone you love get lost traveling to a familiar destination? It may be a sign of early onset Alzheimer’s Disease.
Can’t Make Sense of Time or Place
Two common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are losing track of dates and having difficulty understanding the passage of time.
Sadly these symptoms get worse as they progress, and those with Alzheimer’s have a hard time understanding where they are and how they got there.
By contrast, it’s normal age-related behavior for those 50 and older to get confused about the day of the week, only to figure it out eventually.
The common age-related behavior of older people is to become set in their ways. They like to do things in very specific ways and stick to their routine. Becoming irritable when their routine is broken is quite normal for the older set.
By contrast, those with Alzheimer’s often display extreme swings in their mood and personalities.
What they are experiencing is very real to them, reflecting in their mood as depression, anxiety, and confusion. It’s important not to react negatively to their behavior swings and communicate compassionately instead.
If you recognize any of the symptom’s in yourself or a loved one, schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Alzheimer’s awareness and early detection are key to preserving brain function and possibly even reversing related conditions.
Are you looking for help caring for your elder loved one? Contact us today! We’ll help you find the right care that’s perfectly tailored to your unique situation and circumstances.
If you enjoyed this post, you may want to also check out “Communicating Compassionately With a Person With Memory Impairment“.