Memory loss that disrupts daily life may be a symptom of Alzheimer's or another form of dementia. Alzheimer's is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. There can be up to ten warning signs and symptoms. If you notice any of them, do not ignore them. Schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Memory loss that disrupts daily life
One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s disease, especially in the early stage, is forgetting recently learned information. Others may include forgetting important dates or events, repetitively asking the same questions, and increasingly needing to rely on memory aids (e.g., reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for aspects of life that they used to manage on their own.
Challenges in planning or solving problems
Some people living with dementia may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. Examples may include having trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. There can be an increased difficulty in concentrating resulting in the need to take much longer to complete tasks than they did before.
Difficulty completing familiar tasks
People with Alzheimer's often find it hard to complete daily tasks that they previous had minimal difficulty carrying out. Sometimes they may have trouble driving to a familiar location, organizing a grocery list or remembering the rules of a favorite game.
Confusion with time or place
People living with Alzheimer's can lose track of dates, seasons and the general passage of time. They may have trouble understanding events if they are not occurring immediately. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there.
Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
In some cases, vision problems can be a sign of Alzheimer's. This may lead to difficulty with balance, problems judging distance and determining color or contrast.
New problems with words in speaking or writing
People living with Alzheimer's may have trouble joining or following a conversation, especially between multiple people. They may pause in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they may become repetitive. They may struggle with vocabulary, have trouble naming a familiar object or use the wrong terminology (e.g., calling a "watch" a "hand-clock").
Misplacing items and losing the ability to retrace steps
A person living with Alzheimer's disease may leave objects in unusual places. They may lose these objects and be unable to retrace their steps to find them again. He or she may accuse others of stealing, especially as the disease progresses.
Decreased or poor judgment
Individuals may experience changes in judgment and decision-making. For example, they may use poor judgment when dealing with money or pay less attention to grooming and keeping themselves clean.
Withdrawal from work or social activities
Because a person living with Alzheimer’s disease may experience changes in their ability to hold and follow a conversation, he or she may end up withdrawing from hobbies, social activities or other social engagements. In addition, they may also have trouble keeping up with a favorite team or activity.
Changes in mood and personality
Individuals living with Alzheimer’s may experience mood and personality changes. Emotions can range between confusion, suspicion, depression, fearfulness or anxiety. They may be easily upset at home, with friends or when out of their comfort zone.
It is important to take note of your significant others change in demeanor once the beginning signs of Memory loss are noticed. When in doubt, always consult with your doctor or a medical professional.
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