Memory loss that disrupts daily life may be a symptom of Alzheimer's Disease or another dementia. Alzheimer's is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills.
10 warning signs of Alzheimer's Disease:
1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life
- One of the most common signs of Alzheimer's is memory loss, specifically forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates or events; asking for the same information over and over; increasingly needing to rely on memory aids (e.g., reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to handle on their own.
- Typical age-related change: Forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later.
2. Challenges in planning or solving problems
Difficulty with numbers, trouble following a recipe, trouble keeping track of monthly bills, difficulty with concentration, may take longer to complete a task than it did before.
Typical age-related change: Making occasional errors when balancing a checkbook
3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or leisure
May have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work or remembering the rules of a favorite game.
Typical age-related change: Occasionally needing help to use the settings on a microwave or to record a television show.
4. Confusion with time or place
May lose track of dates, seasons and passage of time, may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately or they may forget where they are or how they got there.
Typical age-related change: Getting confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later.
5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
Having vision problems maybe a sign of Alzheimer’s. A person may have difficulty reading, judging distance and determining color or contrast, which may cause problems with driving.
Typical age-related change: Vision changes related to cataracts.
6. New problems with words in speaking or writing
May have trouble following or joining a conversation, may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or may repeat themselves, may struggle with vocabulary, have problems finding the right word or call things the wrong name.
Typical age-related change: Sometimes having trouble finding the right word.
7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
May put things in unusual places, may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again, may accuse others of stealing.
Typical age-related change: Misplacing things from time to time and retracing steps to find them.
8. Decreased or poor judgment
People with Alzheimer’s may experience changes in judgment or decision-making. They may pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean.
Typical age-related change: Making a bad decision once in a while.
9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
Someone with Alzheimer’s may start to remove themselves from hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports. They may have trouble keeping up with a favorite sports team or remembering how to complete a favorite hobby.
Typical age-related change: Sometimes feeling weary of work, family and social obligations
10. Changes in mood and personality
The mood and personalities of people with Alzheimer’s can change. They may be confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious.
Typical age-related change: Developing very specific ways of doing things and becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted.
Early detection and you!
Get the maximum benefit from available treatments – You can explore treatments that may provide some relief of symptoms and help you maintain a level of independence longer. You may also increase your chances of participating in clinical drug trials that help advance research.
Have more time to plan for the future – A diagnosis of Alzheimer's allows you to take part in decisions about care, transportation, living options, financial and legal matters. You can also participate in building the right care team and social support network.
Help for you and your loved ones – Care and support services are available, making it easier for you and your family to live the best life possible with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Please visit www.alz.org for more information.