10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease for Chapel Hill Residents

July 7, 2016 | By Lorenzo Mejia

Alzheimer’s disease is more than just memory loss and it comes with a variety of symptoms and warning signs. It is a good idea to get things checked out by your doctor because early detection may help you treat and plan for the future. There are 10 warning signs for you to watch for in a loved one.

1.  Memory Loss That Disrupts Daily Life  Memory loss that includes forgetting significant dates or events like an important anniversary or birthday should not be neglected. Forgetting learned information is noticeable and not like just forgetting a name or appointment. Constantly using notes or memory aides or asking family members for help are not common.
2.  Challenges in Planning or Solving Problems  People with Alzheimer’s have difficulty following a recipe, organizing an activity or working with numbers. Balancing a check book or baking a pound cake may become too difficult and they are no longer able to do things like they did before.
3.  Difficulty completing Familiar Tasks  People with Alzheimer’s have a hard time completing daily tasks like using a vacuum or driving to a familiar location. They can no longer complete tasks at home, work or during leisure activities.
4. Confusion With Time or Place  Alzheimer’s disease makes you have a hard time distinguishing location and/or the time or day. They may lose track of days or the week or even what season it is. They often have trouble understanding why something isn’t happening immediately.
5.  Trouble Understanding Visual Images or Spatial Relationships  People have trouble with their eyes as they age. However, Alzheimer’s disease causes difficulty reading, judging distance and determining color or contrast.
6.  New Problems With Words In Writing or Speaking  They may have trouble joining a conversation and will repeat themselves or struggle with their vocabulary by calling a watch a hand clock.
7.  Misplacing Things and Losing the Ability to Retrace Steps  They may have trouble remembering where they put car keys or important documents and have trouble retracing their steps to find them. They may think other people stole them.
8.  Decreased or Poor Judgment  They may use poor judgment when handling money or encountering strangers. They may even pay less attention to their appearance or cleanliness.
9.  Withdrawal From Work or Social Activities  Many with Alzheimer’s start to withdraw from activities and things they once enjoyed. They may not attend family functions or work events because of changes they are experiencing.
10.  Changes in Mood or Personality  They may have mood swings because a routine or plan is disrupted. They can become easily confused, depressed, fearful or anxious.They can feel increasing upset when they are out of their comfort zone.

 

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