Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. It typically affects people older than 65 but can start sooner.
It is a progressive degenerative disease that gets worse over time. However, recognizing the early signs of Alzheimer’s can help you begin beneficial treatment, including home health care, that help you or your loved one manage symptoms, ensure safety and improve quality of life.
Disruptive memory loss is the most familiar and common sign of early Alzheimer’s. This type of memory loss may include forgetting recently acquired information and important events. Your loved one may also experience trouble performing daily tasks and rely more often on memory aids.
When daily, familiar or routine tasks become a challenge for your loved one to complete, Alzheimer’s could be the culprit.
An Alzheimer’s patient may forget how to play their favorite game, drive to work or perform other ordinary daily tasks that used to be second nature. Professional Alzheimer’s care could help your loved one manage these daily tasks successfully.
Misplacing items is not unusual for aging adults. Someone with Alzheimer’s will be unable to trace his or her steps and find the missing object, though. He or she may also place items in unusual locations or blame others for taking their things.
Becoming disoriented, not grasping what’s happening right now and losing track of time could be early signs of Alzheimer’s. Your loved one may get lost easily, not remember how they arrived somewhere and forget important dates.
People with Alzheimer’s disease repeat what they say or avoid conversations. These challenges occur because they are unable to find the right words to say, follow the flow of conversations or maintain their train of thought.
Decreased interest in friends and family, social gatherings, work projects, personal development, or hobbies may be Alzheimer’s symptoms.
Your loved one may show a lack of interest or be unmotivated to maintain social connections and watch TV or sleep more than usual.
Alzheimer’s sufferers may struggle to plan, solve problems, concentrate, and think logically or in steps. They may become unable to make and keep plans and appointments, track bills, perform tasks that involve numbers, or follow a familiar recipe.
Eyes naturally weaken with age, but Alzheimer’s can cause visual processing challenges. Your loved one may have trouble judging distances, understanding images, reading words on a page, or distinguishing colors or contrasts. As a result, driving and everyday functioning can be affected.
Making poor or unusual decisions could be a sign of early Alzheimer’s. Your loved one may engage in risky, harmful or illegal behavior, make money mistakes, discontinue personal hygiene, or wear the wrong clothing for the season.
Mood and personality swings could indicate Alzheimer’s because the condition causes psychological, mental and emotional changes. Notice if your loved one seems to be more upset, frustrated, angry, suspicious, hostile, scared, depressed, or anxious.
Alzheimer’s affects each person differently, and the 10 early signs vary in intensity. The symptoms are manageable, though, especially with early detection.
A doctor can perform physical and mental health evaluations, brain images and mental status skill tests to determine the presence of Alzheimer’s.
The results help you plan for the future, make financial and legal decisions and provide the right care for Alzheimer’s patients.
Despite the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease, your loved one may be able to remain at home thanks to home health care.
Caregivers that are professionally trained to manage Alzheimer’s patients enhance independence as they meet your loved one’s needs for safety, security, dignity, and the highest possible quality of life.