10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer's Disease

*Information provided for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If you have more questions about the warning signs of Alzheimer's disease, please contact our office at 408-429-8665 or contact your physician.

Losses that disrupt daily life

  • It’s normal to occasionaly forget an assignment, deadline, or colleague’s name, but forgetting information you just learned or needing to rely more and more on family, friends, or memory aides may be a warning sign of Alzheimer’s

 

Challenges in planning or solving problems

  • Busy people get distracted from time to time. For example you might have something on the stove too long or not remember to serve part of the meal. People with Alzheimer’s might have trouble following a familiar recipe, keeping track of monthly bills, or managing other tasks that require concentration.

 

Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or at leisure

  • Playing a familiar game, doing a routine work task, or driving to a familiar location can be difficult for someone with Alzheimer’s disease

 

Confusion with time and place

  • It’s normal to momentarily forget the day of the week or what you need from the store. But people with Alzheimer’s disease can lose track of dates, seasons, and even where they are.

 

Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships

  • People with Alzheimer’s may have vision problems that affect their ability to determine color or contrast or judge distance. These vision problems can cause difficulty with driving or walking through visually ‘busy’ spaces.

 

New problems with words in speaking or writing

  • Finding the right word can be challenging for many of us, but the person with Alzheimer’s disease may have trouble following a conversation. They might call something familiar by the wrong name, begin repeating themselves, or have trouble remembering what they were talking about in the middle of a conversation.

 

Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps

  • Everyone temporarily misplaces a wallet or keys from time to time. A person with Alzheimer’s disease may put these and other items in inappropriate places – such as an iron in the freezer, or a wristwatch in the sugar bowl – then not recall how they got there. Sometimes they may accuse others of stealing items they have misplaced or cannot locate.

 

Decreased or poor judgment

  • Making a bad decision is something that can happen to anyone, but a person with Alzheimer’s disease can show unusual signs of making poor decisions. Giving money away to a telemarketer or changing the attention that they normally give to their personal grooming may be signs of dementia.

 

Withdrawal from work or social activities

  • As a person with Alzheimer’s disease struggles to understand the world around them, you may see them stop participating in hobbies or social activities that used to be a part of their life. They may have difficulty remembering how games are played or may avoid social activities with other people.

 

Changes in mood and personality

  • People with Alzheimer’s disease can become depressed, anxious, fearful, or confused, especially when they are in new places or around new people.

EVEN IF ALL 10 WARNING SIGNS ARE PRESENT, A GOOD DIAGNOSIS SHOULD BE MADE BY A QUALIFIED PHYSICIAN TO RULE OUT OTHER TREATABLE CAUSES OF DEMENTIA.

Information provided by the Institute for Professional Care Education

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