Early Signs of Alzheimer’s You Do Not Want to Ignore

early signs of alzheimersAlzheimer’s is a common disease, affecting 5.8 million Americans. Even though there is plenty of information out there, not all cases of Alzheimer’s are easy to spot. Sometimes, the disease creeps up out of nowhere. Other times, the person hides their symptoms so as not to upset their family.

Early intervention can be helpful in slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s symptoms. So, it’s important to be aware of the early signs of Alzheimer’s. Here are some red flags that you should not ignore.

Memory Loss

Memory loss due to Alzheimer’s is different than age-related memory loss. You can use this chart to compare normal aging vs dementia. In general, memory loss from dementia is more profound and affects the ability to remember names, events and recent information.

Trouble Following Processes

People with dementia have a difficult time following regular processes. They might get confused following a recipe or understanding directions to the doctor.

Daily Tasks are Difficult

Having trouble with daily living tasks is another possible sign of Alzheimer’s. Things that were once easy and familiar - getting dressed, making meals, driving to a book club - become difficult.

Loss for Words 

Individuals with dementia often have a hard time following a conversation. They might forget common words or lose track of where they were in a discussion.

Poor Judgement

People aren’t always aware that poor judgement is a sign of dementia. Older adults are sometimes categorized as being “silly” or “unaware,” but this isn’t a reason to skip bills or not shower. Pay attention if your loved one is making poor choices.

Isolation

In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, people are often aware that they are changing. Because of this, they might isolate themselves from others or drop out of activities.

Mood and Personality Changes

Dementia makes it difficult to have a consistent, positive mood. A person with the disease might be anxious when they’re out with others and depressed when home alone. It can be hard to tell the difference between Alzheimer’s and age-related personality changes, but speak up if you feel that something is different or wrong.

Could it be Something Other than Alzheimer’s? 

The above signs are not a guarantee that a person has dementia. Many other things can create similar symptoms, such as late-onset depression and certain medications. This is why it’s important to talk to a doctor. If it’s not Alzheimer’s disease, you can address the problem and improve the person’s quality of life. If it is Alzheimer’s, early detection can relieve symptoms, increase independence and delay progression.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and how to make informed decisions, visit Doctor’s Choice for a full collection of healthy aging videos.