Dementia, which is an impairment in brain function, is a medical condition that affects countless seniors worldwide. The leading cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, but it can also be caused by other diseases or age-related degeneration. It is important to diagnosis dementia and Alzheimer’s disease as soon as possible, so that the proper medical and legal steps can be taken. Here are the top ten signs of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
1. Disruptive Memory Loss
It is normal for a senior to forget an address or a random name every now and then, but normally, the senior later remembers the forgotten item. However, constantly forgetting recently learned information, important events, or significant dates is abnormal, and it may be a cause for concern.
2. Trouble Finishing Tasks
Daily tasks, such as balancing a checkbook or taking care of a garden, may become more difficult as the Alzheimer’s progresses. This often starts with smaller things like playing games before progressing to more trouble with familiar tasks. People with Alzheimer’s may stop in the middle of the task and wander off to do something else, or they may express frustration at how hard the task suddenly seems.
3. Sudden Mood Changes
Just like everyone else, seniors occasionally have a mood swing, but a complete shift in personality may occur as a person develops dementia. Depression is common during the earliest stages, and in later stages, shy and quiet people are likely to become very outgoing.
4. Difficulty With Problem Solving
Alzheimer’s makes it difficult for people to solve complex problems with several steps. They may experience difficulty remembering how to follow a recipe or plan a budget because it is harder for them to follow step by step instructions and think critically. If the person is still able to problem solve or plan out solutions, it might take them longer or involve more steps.
Confusion is normal as long as it is momentary and not common, but constant confusion is a sign of something more serious. When a person with dementia forgets something, they quickly become confused. It may be harder for them to remember how to interact and speak with people, and they often struggle to find the right works and explain what they are trying to say. They might lose track of how they arrived at a place or met someone.
6. Losing More Items
Everyone misplaces things from time to time, and some people even misplace things regularly. However, a sudden increase in misplacing items may be due to Alzheimer’s. This is because it is harder for an elderly person to remember when they last used an item, and sometimes, they may think someone else is misplacing or stealing their possessions.
7. Issues With Spatial Orientation
People with Alzheimer’s tend to have trouble with spatial relations. They might think that items are nearer or farther away than they actually are, even if their vision is completely fine. Following directions is often trickier, so they become easily lost and may forget directions they have used in the past. Familiar landmarks are quickly forgotten, making direction even more difficult.
When the memory losses and behavioral issues of dementia interact, repetition can often occur. While carrying on a conversation, a senior may repeatedly ask a question or say the same sentence several times. In addition to verbally repeating sentences or phrases, repetitive actions, such as shaving several times in a day or collecting strange objects, may occur.
9. Poor Judgement
Bad decisions are not always a symptom of Alzheimer’s, but they are more common among people with Alzheimer’s. A person with dementia might donate more than they can afford to charity, stop personal upkeep, or trust a dishonest friend that they had previously cut ties with. This happens because cognitive processes are not as functional as they should be, so judgement is lessened.
10. Trouble Communicating
Both spoken and written words may be harder to process for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. This may be especially noticeable in seniors who typically make speeches or write long items. When speaking, a senior might pause longer, and when writing, they might make unusual word choices. This happens because it is harder for the brain to retrieve the proper word.
If you or an elderly loved one is showing any of the above signs, it is important to seek medical attention right away. With the proper care, people with Alzheimer’s and dementia can continue to enjoy a high quality of life. Contact us today to find out how Ally Independence can help you find the right care.
“Old Age or Something Else? 10 Early Signs of Dementia.” Healthline.
“10 Early Signs & Symptoms of Alzheimer’s.” Alzheimer’s Association.
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