Alzheimer’s Disease – Ten warning signs

Please note: If you have several of these symptoms, you should see a qualified physician for a complete examination as soon as possible. It may or may not be Alzheimer’s, but it is always best to seek early treatment.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease, which means that symptoms get worse as time progresses. How fast the disease progresses and what pattern the symptoms follow variable from person to person.

The 10 warning signs for Alzheimer’s include :

1. Memory loss: One of the most common early signs of dementia is forgetting recently learned information. While its normal to forget appointments, names or telephone numbers, those with dementia will forget such things more often and also they will not remember them later.

2. Difficulty performing familiar tasks: People with dementia often find it difficult to complete mundane, everyday tasks that are so familiar to us that we usually do not think about how to do them. For example, a person with Alzheimer’s may not know the steps for preparing a meal, using a household appliance, driving a car, or participating in their lifelong hobbies.

3. Problems with language: Everyone has trouble finding the right word sometimes, but a person with Alzheimer’s often forgets simple words or substitutes unusual words, making his or her speech or writing hard to understand. If a person with Alzheimer’s is unable to find his or her toothbrush, for example, the individual may ask for that thing for my mouth, because they may not remember what a toothbrush is called.

4. Disorientation to time and place: Its normal to forget the day of the week, the current date, or where you are going. However, people with Alzheimer’s can become lost, even in the street that they have lived in for many years. They can forget where they are and how they got there, and they may not know how to get back home.

5. Poor or decreased judgment: No one has perfect judgment all of the time. However, those with Alzheimer’s may dress without regard for the weather, wearing several shirts or blouses on a hot day or very little clothing in cold weather. People with dementia often show poor judgment about money, giving away large amounts of money to telemarketers or strangers, or paying for home repairs or products that they don’t need.

6. Problems with abstract thinking: Balancing a checkbook or checking your credit card statement or phone bill can be difficult for all of us at times. However, someone with Alzheimer’s could completely forget what numbers mean or how to add up.

7. Misplacing things: Anyone can temporarily misplace a wallet or keys. However, a person with Alzheimer’s may put things in unusual places. For example, they may put the toaster in the freezer, or their keys in the vegetable draw of a fridge.

8. Changes in mood or behavior: Everyone can become sad, angry, or moody from time to time, especially in today’s world. Indeed, it is the people who never become sad or moody that you really need to watch out for! However, a person with Alzheimer’s can show rapid mood swings from calm to tears to anger for no apparent reason.

9. Changes in personality: A person’s personality may gradually change as they age. However, the personality of a person with Alzheimer’s can change a great deal very quickly. For example, they may become extremely confused, suspicious, fearful or dependent on a family member.

10. Loss of initiative: It is perfectly normal for people to occasionally tire of housework, business activities, or social obligations. However, a person with Alzheimer’s may become very passive, sitting in front of the television for hours, sleeping more than usual or not wanting to do their usual or favorite activities.