Alzheimer's & Dementia

How To Recognize 7 Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

We’ve all been there: you go to get your keys, but you can’t remember where you put them. Or maybe you go to the grocery store, but can’t remember that last item you said you’d remember.

Don’t worry… forgetting things every once in a while is no cause for alarm. After all, how many times have we been introduced to someone but forgotten their name almost immediately? These are memory lapses that people deal with occasionally and aren’t anything serious.

However, there are times when frequent forgetfulness can be the first symptom of something worse. When should you worry about a senior loved one’s memory becoming more than just common forgetfulness?

If an older person’s memory problems cause him to consistently miss appointments and get lost in places he knows well, it’s possible that he or she may be suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease—the most common form of the illness.

If memory loss has escalated to this level, you need to look into Alzheimer’s care for your loved one.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive illness that worsens over time and leads to death. It can be difficult for caretakers to manage once the later stages are reached, so it’s important to plan ahead when Alzheimer’s symptoms first appear, and before they become severe.

By learning the warning signs of Alzheimer’s, you may be able to recognize this disease when its symptoms first appear and find solutions such as specialized in-home care.


5 Early Signs of Alzheimer's


Recognize 5 Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Here are 5 things to look out for when trying to determine whether your loved one has early-stage Alzheimer’s disease:

1. Asking the same question: As loved ones enter into Alzheimer’s, you might notice them forgetting things quickly. If they ask the same question over and over that’s already been answered, there’s a serious problem.  As they become more forgetful, it becomes more and more difficult for them to remember what they were just told. This is one of the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease that people should look out for.

2. Sudden change of habits: Sudden changes to habits, especially social habits, should be of concern. Loss of motivation to do things, as well as a loss of interest in hobbies and pastimes, are common signs of Alzheimer’s. If you see your loved one shying away from social activities that they used to enjoy, there may be a deeper problem that needs to be addressed.

3. Problems finding things: Do you have to repeatedly help your loved one look for lost items? Losing a house key or car keys every once in a while may not seem like cause for concern, but if you notice that your loved one is constantly losing their belongings, it could be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease.

4. Money management issues: If your loved one is having problems paying (or not paying) bills, seek help immediately. At some point, money management becomes impossible for people with Alzheimer’s disease; If your loved one’s finances have suddenly taken a turn for the worse, you may want to consider their options and how this altered cognitive status could affect their health.

5. Can’t read or write: For adults who lose the ability to read, write or speak, these changes may signal a serious problem. When there are problems forming sentences, writing letters, or forgetting everyday words, you should call for help for your loved one as soon as possible. The sooner you call for help, the sooner your loved one can get the treatment they need.

6. Compromised decision-making and judgement. An early sign of Alzheimer’s is often an unusual or odd judgement call, like a parent selling their home without telling anyone else in the family, or giving all the family china and silver to the gardener. Other questionable behavior may also be a sign, like going to the store in their pajamas and paying less attention to their overall grooming and upkeep.

7. Changes in mood and personality: Once Alzheimer’s has progressed, mood and personality changes are often so dramatic they are easier to differentiate from the nervous characteristics of normal aging. People who have been polite, charming, and lovely can get mean, distrustful, suspicious and, sadly, confused with Alzheimer’s. These major personality shifts are some of the underlying challenges of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s.


7 Early Signs of Alzheimer's


Identifying the early signs of Alzheimer’s can be difficult because the symptoms are similar to other health problems. If your loved one shows signs or symptoms of memory loss, it’s important to get them checked by a doctor as soon as possible—because the disruption can make daily life much more difficult.

It can be overwhelming for families to accept that their loved one might have Alzheimer’s. Many people deny the possibility of its onset, rather than seeking treatment early on. However, early diagnosis is best for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, so a comprehensive care plan should be created before the symptoms become severe.

For more help, check out our free guide to Spotting the Early Symptoms of Alzheimer’s here, or contact our team of care professionals.

Contact Home Care Assistance of Dayton to ask for help and information about Alzheimer’s care for your loved one!

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