As we age, friends and family members expect certain deficiencies ‘’hearing and vision loss, memory loss, and limited physical mobility. While none of these are ‘normal,’ they are more likely to happen as we get older and are exposed to more injuries, illness, and life experiences. The signs of Alzheimer’s Disease can be subtle in the early stages and family may dismiss them as normal aging. Recognizing the signs of Alzheimer’s Disease is important to preventing injury and getting the help and care they may need.
Everyone loses their keys from time to time and forgets where they set their coffee mug down. However, when your loved one begins to misplace common items or finds them in places they don’t belong, it is a cause for concern.
Forgetting important days.
While you may not always remember a meeting or an appointment that is scheduled a few weeks out, if your loved one begins to forget important dates or what day it is, it may indicate that the memory impairment has progressed to a stage that indicates true dementia, possibly Alzheimers related.
Being sidetracked, mid-task.
It is normal to get distracted with side tasks or attempt to multitask while performing a task. However, when your loved one forgets what they are doing mid-task — for instance, forgets where they are driving to or what they were going to add to the boiling water — that is an indication that they are having significant memory problems.
Changes in personality.
Changes in memory and cognition can have an impact on mood and personality. If you find that your once calm and loving family member is suddenly having problems with anxiety or irritable outbursts, it can be a side effect of confusion and memory loss.
Changes in hygiene.
One of the hallmarks of dementia is a change in hygiene, which is more noticeable in those who are particular about their appearance. When memory starts to slip, routines and normal habits become a struggle and things begin to be missed. If you notice that your loved one has had changes in personal hygiene, it is important to identify if it is a symptom of depression or dementia.
Times and places are confusing.
Orienting to time and place should be relatively easy and come naturally. If your loved one seems to be confused about the time or place or why they are in a particular place or how there got there, it is cause for concern that there is more than simple memory problems. Sometimes this can manifest as being confused about what part of the day it is currently —morning, afternoon, evening— or thinking it is fall of 2010 as opposed to spring of 2018. Sometimes the signs can be subtle and easily overlooked of a recent time change took place or they just woke up from a nap.
Alzheimer’s Disease is a serious, progressively debilitating disease. Left undiagnosed, it can cause serious injury to those who suffer from it. Basic life activities are sacrificed such as eating, hygiene, and safety. Things like forgetting that the stove is on or to turn the tub water off can cause serious harm. To help mitigate risks, it is important to identify the symptoms and seek a diagnosis. Illness such as a urinary tract infection or changes in medication can cause pseudodementia or mask the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease. Special memory care facilities and trained care personnel can make a big difference in the day to day life of Alzheimer’s patients and their family members. Contact us at A Right Place for Seniors for more information and to help you find the right solution today!