Detecting Dementia: What Are the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease?

It’s estimated that a shocking more than 6 million Americans aged over 65 years have the Alzheimer’s Disease.

The number is projected to rise since many people are still not aware of this serious condition.

Before we look at what are the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s Disease, we need to understand what it is.

Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that destroys thinking, memory and reasoning skills – and eventually, the ability to carry out basic day-to-day tasks. It can be defined as a progressive, irreversible brain disorder.

While the disease can’t be cured, it can easily be managed when detected early.

So, What are the 10 Warning Signs Of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Here are some early signs of dementia that might suggest you or your loved one is developing Alzheimer’s:

  1. Memory Loss That Disrupts Day-to-Day Life

While it’s common for older adults to forget appointments or where they left their car keys, when this forgetfulness becomes a trend, it’s recommended to see a doctor.

Forgetting recently learned information, heavily relying on memory aids like reminder notes and alarms, and asking for the same information over and over are some of the common signs of dementia-related memory loss.

  1. Difficulties in Planning and Solving Simple Problems

Making occasional checkbook errors is quite normal, but a person with Alzheimer’s may have trouble working with numbers altogether and following set-out procedures.

Simple things like keeping track of bills, following a cooking recipe, and navigating a map can become quite difficult.

  1. Challenges in Completing Familiar Tasks

People with Alzheimer’s may also have short concentration spans and take longer to do things they normally used to finish quickly.

If you or your loved one has difficulties in completing familiar tasks like playing a board game or driving to a familiar location, then you may want to see a doctor.

In severe cases, seniors may need assisted living services from professional institutions, especially if they live alone.

  1. Disorientation of Time and Place

A good example of disorientation is when you wake up from a deep sleep and can’t immediately determine the time or day.

If similar events occur often, then you’ve got one of the signs of early dementia.

Extreme disorientation may include the inability to determine what year or season it is, your location, and why you’re in a specific location. Sometimes, the patient may believe that they’re years younger because of the unawareness of passing time.

Occasionally forgetting the date may not be a sign of Alzheimer’s.

  1. Difficulty in Understanding Visuals and Spatial Relationships

Alzheimer’s can make it difficult to comprehend visual images and tell the distances between objects.

It may also cause difficulty in distinguishing colors and contrast. These visual problems can make simple tasks like driving and operating machinery dangerous.

Keep in mind that normal aging may also affect your eyesight. So, it’s important to have a checkup with your eye doctor to determine the real cause of your visual impairment.

  1. Problems with Vocabulary and Conversations

Another early sign of Alzheimer’s is having trouble following a conversation.

People with this type of Dementia may suddenly stop in the middle of a conversation and forget what they were talking about, have no idea how to continue, or keep repeating themselves.

They may also struggle with finding the right words or calling things the wrong names.

  1. Frequently Misplacing Items and Having Difficulties in Retracing the Steps

You’ve probably misplaced your keys on a number of occasions, but have found them by searching in logical places or retracing your steps.

For people with Alzheimer’s, it can be difficult to remember where they placed items or how to retrace their steps to find them. Losing things frequently can be quite frustrating and may make the person believe that someone is stealing from them.

Dementia can make people place items in illogical places, like clothes in the refrigerator.

  1. Poor Decision-Making

If you or your loved one is consistently making wrong decisions, it’s time to see a physician.

People with Alzheimer’s can easily fall prey to phone and email scams, dress for the wrong weather, donate irresponsibly, spend huge amounts on unnecessary items, and take less care of themselves.

Be on the lookout for these and similar signs.

  1. Behavior and Mood Changes

It’s normal for people to get sad and moody from time to time for particular reasons. A person with Alzheimer’s may have rapid mood swings, for no apparent reason.

As a result, they may start to feel anxious, confused, depressed, irritable, and suspicious. These behavioral changes may occur in a variety of settings including at home, at work, or in unfamiliar places.

  1. Withdrawal from Social and Work Activities

While it’s normal for older adults to feel weary from social and work activities, it may be an early Dementia sign if a person withdrawals from all activities. They may find it hard completing their favorite hobbies or keeping up with their favorite sports.

Another reason for their withdrawal can be the scary and overwhelming changes they’re going through. That’s why it’s always recommended frequently pay them a visit if you’re not living together.

Benefits of Early Dementia Diagnosis

Now that you know what are the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s Disease, you can take the necessary steps to improve your lifestyle or that of a loved one.

People with Alzheimer’s may experience one or several of the Dementia signs outlined above.

While there’s no cure, an early diagnosis means better management before the condition worsens into an unsalvageable state. It also means that you or your loved one has a better chance at maintaining independence for as long as possible.

Finally, keep in mind that many conditions – including depression, alcoholism, hormonal disorders, and strokes – have dementia-like symptoms. Therefore, it’s always advisable to visit your physician before jumping into conclusions.

For tips on how to maintain optimum mental health, check out this blog.

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