Alzheimer’s is a very serious brain disease that can cause a slow decline in the patient’s cognitive skills. Over time, the patient’s memory, reasoning skills, and thinking can begin to decline. As the disease progresses, the disease can get so severe that the patient doesn’t recognize their family members and they don’t even know who they are. If you are caring for a loved one and you are concerned that they may be in early stages of the disease, you should know what symptoms to look for. It is important to understand that every person is different. The combination of symptoms can differ from person to person.
#1 Memory Loss That Effects Their Daily Life
Forgetfulness is a normal sign of aging, however, if your loved one becomes especially forgetful, it could be cause for concern. There are certain memory issues that a person with Alzheimer’s will have that aren’t a normal part of aging.
- Forgetting recently learned information
- Forgetting important dates or events
- Relying on memory aids often such as notes or electronic devices
- Asking to have the same information repeated again and again
- Forgetting names or important dates but then remembering them later
#2 Problems With Planning and Problem Solving
It is not uncommon for a person with Alzheimer’s to suddenly have trouble making plans. Something simple like following a recipe or understanding the directions to a board game can become difficult. People with Alzheimer’s also struggle with numbers, therefore, paying bills and balancing their checkbook can become difficult. Finally, a person with Alzheimer’s may need to concentrate much longer to do things that were once easy for them.
#3 Familiar Tasks Suddenly Become Difficult
When a person is suffering from Alzheimer’s, familiar tasks that they have been doing for years can become difficult. This can include driving to a familiar location, remembering their daily routine, and forgetting how to use their household appliances.
#4 Confusion With Time or Place
People with Alzheimer’s often lose track of time. This doesn’t mean that they forget what day of the week it is. People who suffer from this disease will often forget what year and even what decade it is. Also, they might have trouble understanding if something is happening immediately. Finally, it is not uncommon for a person to go somewhere and forget how they got there.
#5 Difficulty Seeing and Understanding Visual Images
Many people who suffer from Alzheimer’s have problems with their vision. This doesn’t mean needing a pair of reading glasses. Alzheimer’s patients often have trouble judging distance. They also have trouble determining color or contrast. These vision changes can make it dangerous for a person with Alzheimer’s to drive a vehicle.
#6 Sudden Issues With Speaking
As a person gets older, it is not uncommon for them to have trouble finding the right word, however, if they are in the middle of a conversation and suddenly forget what they were talking about, it is a serious cause for concern. People with Alzheimer’s often repeat themselves because they forgot what they just said. Finally, many Alzheimer’s patients will call things by the wrong name because they cannot remember the correct one. For example, if the person says little clock instead of watch, it is cause for concern.
#7 Difficulty Retracing Steps
Alzheimer’s patients will often misplace things. While this is common for many people, Alzheimer’s will make it difficult for them to remember where they just were so that they can retrace their steps.
Some people confuse old age with Alzheimer’s, however, when it is Alzheimer’s, the symptoms are more serious and disruptive to their life.