Dementia is the loss of brain function, including memory, judgment and behavior. Alzheimers disease is a common form of dementia that is irreversible and progressive. The symptoms of Alzheimers disease go beyond that of normal aging, eventually affecting sufferers ability to perform even the simplest of tasks. As such, those with Alzheimers disease often require dementia care or Alzheimers care, a specialized level of senior care geared toward those with an advanced form of the disease.
The Alzheimers Association has developed 10 warning signs of Alzheimers disease. These warning signs are:
Memory loss Frequently forgetting things, especially things that happened even a few hours before, is one of the most common signs of Alzheimers disease. A person suffering from Alzheimers may ask the same questions or repeat the same stories over and over again.
Difficulty planning or with problem solving – People with Alzheimers may have increased problems with the ability to develop and/or follow complex processes such as budgeting.
Problems completing everyday tasks Someone with Alzheimers disease may have increased difficulty completing ordinary tasks that they did before with ease, such as following a favorite recipe, driving to familiar places or remembering the rules of games.
Language problems – Forgetting and/or substituting the names of everyday objects is an early sign of Alzheimers. For instance, someone with Alzheimers may refer to a car as “that thing that drives.”
Disorientation – People suffering from dementia tend to get confused more often. For example, an Alzheimers sufferer may get lost in a neighborhood theyve lived in for decades.
Impaired judgment Those with Alzheimers may exhibit increasingly poor judgment such as not dressing appropriately for the weather, not keeping up with housekeeping or personal hygiene or spending large amounts of money on things they do not need.
Misplacing things – A person with dementia may start placing objects in odd places, such as a hat in the freezer or jewelry in the dishwasher.
Personality changes A noticeable shift in disposition is a common sign of dementia. Alzheimers sufferers may suddenly become more fearful or passive.
Mood swings Dementia sufferers may experience dramatic shifts in mood from happy to tearful without apparent provocation.
Loss of interest in activities – Someone suffering from dementia may not be as motivated to engage in activities they once enjoyed, spending most of their time sleeping or in front of the TV.
If your loved one is regularly exhibiting one or more of the above signs, please consult with a doctor or physician for a formal diagnosis to receive Alzheimers disease information, care and support as early on as possible.