Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease
As we age, we may just suffer from the occasional slip in memory; however, if memory loss and decreased cognitive abilities are starting to affect you or a family member, it may just be a sign that they are in the early stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
The symptoms and severity may vary in the early stages, but as the disease progresses, the afflicted person will require a skilled Alzheimer’s caregiver. That said, staying in a familiar environment, combined with the caregiver’s support, can help to slow the condition’s progress.
Below are some additional symptoms and warning signs to watch out for:
Does your loved one easily forget recently learned information or important names and dates? Do they constantly have to use memory aids, such as notes or keeping names and dates on an electronic device, like their phone or a computer? Are they asking for the same information repeatedly?
Memory loss and an increasing reliance on family members can indicate another symptom. An Alzheimer’s caregiver can help to take some of the burden off family members.
Trouble Keeping and Making Plans
If you find that your loved one is having increasing trouble performing simple tasks or running a household, this may just be a sign of Alzheimer’s. In these instances, it may take them more time to perform a simple task or their concentration may wander. If they can’t manage themselves and their home, Alzheimer’s-based home care will be necessary.
Daily Tasks Are a Challenge
If even performing a simple daily task like driving or remembering the rules to a favourite game become a challenge, it could be a warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease. When regular tasks become too difficult, consider hiring a home caregiver to help the Alzheimer’s patient with daily chores.
Confusing Times and Places
One of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s is losing track of time and location. As a result, a loved one may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately; they may even forget where they are and how they got there. If a person has Alzheimer’s, a home care worker can ensure that they have someone with them to prevent any confusion.
Changes in Vision
A loss of spatial awareness, difficulty reading, colour blindness, and general issues with vision may be other symptoms of the disease. If a loved one with Alzheimer’s needs help getting to appointments and shopping due to vision loss, consider a caregiver.
Words and Conversations Are Frustrating
Patients with Alzheimer’s may often have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may also stop talking in the middle of a sentence or repeat themselves. This can be a warning sign of Alzheimer’s, along with the inability to easily remember the correct word for familiar objects.
Misplacing Things and Losing the Ability to Retrace Steps
Due to Alzheimer’s disease, a patient may misplace an object and forget where they put it or place it in an unfamiliar location and forget how to retrace their steps to find it again; this can also be accompanied by accusations of stealing. An Alzheimer’s home care assistant knows how to face these problems or avoid them altogether.
Lapses in Judgment
A patient with Alzheimer’s may show signs of poor judgment, such as giving away large sums of money or neglecting their personal hygiene. With an Alzheimer’s caregiver, the senior can be monitored to make sure that they do not show any lapses in judgment.
As Alzheimer’s progresses, a patient may start to withdraw from social activities and hobbies due to memory loss. They also may feel self-conscious about their changes and purposefully avoid socializing due to embarrassment. A caregiver can serve as support, encouraging your loved one to remain sociable and help them with anything they may forget, including hobbies.
Patients with Alzheimer’s can experience mood changes, often seemingly with no warning, going from being confused to depressed, suspicious, fearful, or anxious. They can also become easily upset if they are removed from their comfort zone. Staying at home can be one of the best ways to cope.
As a leading Alzheimer’s caregiver, Home Care Assistance – Toronto/York Region offers a number of resources to the friends and families of those with Alzheimer’s disease. Through our trained staff who specialize in caring for patients, valuable community connections, and educational materials, we can make caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s easier. Contact Home Care Assistance – Toronto/York Region for more information.
“10 Early Signs of Alzheimer’s,” WebMD web site; http://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/early-warning-signs-when-to-call-the-doctor-about-alzheimers, last accessed March 12, 2015.
“10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s,” Alzheimer’s Association web site; http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_10_signs_of_alzheimers.asp, last accessed March 12, 2015.