Learn the warning signs of Alzheimer's disease | Kaplan Development Group, LLC

10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

A complimentary resource from your friends at Kaplan Development Group

Are you worried that mom or dad has early stages of Alzheimer’s disease? Here are some warning signs that will help you decide if you should consider getting help from specialized staff who understand how to care for your loved ones dealing with Alzheimer’s.

Thankfully, serious memory loss and confusion doesn’t happen to every single person as they age. There are many reasons you may not remember something. And memory loss isn’t always consistent across the board when trying to recognize a sign of Alzheimer’s disease. For example, a person with Alzheimer’s may remember your name tomorrow but not later today.

Recognizing some of these signs will help indicate the possibility of Alzheimer’s disease. The Alzheimer’s Association lists the top 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Note that there are signs to watch for, and there is also normal behavior for aging persons.

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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; relying on memory aides (e.g., reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to handle on their own. Normal Behavior: Sometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later.

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 following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. They may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did before. Normal Behaviors: Making occasional errors when balancing a checkbook.

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 remembering how to use their remote control. Normal Behavior: Occasionally needing help to use the settings on a microwave or to record a television show.

Confusion with time or place

People with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. They may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there. Normal Behavior: Getting confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later.

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. In terms of perception, they may pass a mirror and think someone else is in the room. They may not realize they are the person in the mirror. Normal Behavior: Vision changes related to cataracts.

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 or call things by the wrong name (e.g., calling a “watch” a “hand-clock”). Normal Behavior: Sometimes having trouble finding the right word.

Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps

A person with Alzheimer’s disease may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. Sometimes, they may accuse others of stealing. This may occur more frequently over time. Normal Behavior: Misplacing things from time to time, such as a pair of glasses or the remote control.

Decreased or poor judgment

People with Alzheimer’s may experience changes in judgment or decision-making. For example, they may use poor judgment when dealing with money, giving large amounts to telemarketers. They may pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean. Normal Behavior: Making a bad decision once in a while.

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 may also avoid being social because of the changes they have experienced. Normal Behavior: Sometimes feeling weary of work, family and social obligations.

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. They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends or in places where they are out of their comfort zone. Normal Behavior: Developing very specific ways of doing things and becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted.

Know the Signs

Do you recognize your mom, dad or loved one in these warning signs? Perhaps their very safety or well being is being compromised.

If so, it may be time to get them the specialized care and security that they require. Contact your nearest Kaplan community today. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your loved one is safe and secure and cared for.