Feeling a little absent minded and forgetful these days? We all have been there with those “senior moments”. Sadly, many of us know someone who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease or another type of Dementia. This can cause us to wonder if our own forgetfulness is due to the normal aging process or if is it something more serious. How can we tell the difference?
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are 10 early signs to watch out for.
1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life. Forgetting recently learned information, dates and events. Asking repetitive questions and having to rely on reminder notes, digital devices, or family members to help you to remember things that you once remembered on your own.
Normal aging behavior is occasionally forgetting information but remembering it later.
2. Challenges in planning or problem solving. Some will experience challenges with developing and following a plan or they may have difficulty working with numbers. They might have trouble following a recipe or handling the monthly bills. It may take them longer to perform tasks that they once found simple.
A typical age related change would be making an occasional error in the checkbook.
3. Difficulties completing familiar tasks at home, work or play. Completing daily tasks and chores become difficult. Driving to a familiar location or remembering the rules to a game become challenging.
Occasionally needing help with the remote control for the television is normal age related behavior.
4. Losing track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. They may not understanding something unless it is happening immediately and they may not recognize their location or know how they got there.
What’s normal aging? Forgetting what day of the week it is, but figuring it out later.
5. Difficulty comprehending visual images and spatial relationships. Some people will have visual changes with Alzheimer’s and will have difficulty reading, judging distances, colors and contrast.
It is also common to have these symptoms if you have cataracts.
6. New problems with speaking or writing words. They may have trouble following a conversation or may stop themselves in the middle of conversation and have no idea how to continue. They may repeat themselves and may struggle with vocabulary or call objects by the wrong name.
It is normal to sometimes not be able to find the right word to say.
7. Misplacing things and not being able to retrace steps to find them. Someone with Alzheimer’s may put something in an unusual location. They may lose things and not be able to relocate them. They may also accuse others of stealing their belongings.
Typical age related changes would be to misplace items on occasion but be able to retrace your steps to find them later.
8. Poor judgement. They may make poor decisions in dealing with money. They may also have poor hygiene habits.
Making a poor decision once in a while is considered normal aging.
9. Withdrawal from work and social activities. Because of the challenges with keeping up with work projects and social interests such as sports and hobbies, you may see the person withdraw from these activities.
Occasionally taking a break from work and social activities is okay..
10. Changes in mood and personality. You may notice that they seem different and can become confused, suspicious, depressed or anxious. They may become upset when out of their comfort zone.
A typical age related change is to become set in your routine and be irritable if that routine is disrupted.
If you or a loved one is exhibiting any of the early warning signs, please make an appointment with your physician as soon as possible to be evaluated. Premier Pointe also offers FREE Memory Screenings performed by a trained Neurocognitive Memory Assessor from Bioclinica Research. The next one will be Wednesday, August 8, 2018 and you may schedule an appointment by calling Premier Pointe at 407-703-7022. Click HERE for more information.
source: Alzheimer’s Association