Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia in the world. It affects more than 5 million people in the U.S. alone. With no known cure, one of the best ways to combat the disease can be early detection. Below are some of the most important signs to look for in yourself or a loved one. If you relate to or identify with any of the traits below, please consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships:
Increased vision problems can be a sign of Alzheimer’s for many. Difficulty with everyday tasks like reading, driving and navigating your own home is also a red flag. Alzheimer’s can affect your ability to judge distances and determine color. Regular eye exams can help rule out Alzheimer’s as a cause of these symptoms.
Uncharacteristic behavior can often be an initial sign of Alzheimer’s. Mood swings, atypical dress, increased agitation and sudden use of foul language are a few signs to monitor. Everyone’s “normal” is different, so each person’s behavior should be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Social patterns can change as we age. While avoidance of large social events can be a result of physical changes such as hearing loss or an inability to stand for long periods, it can also be a sign of Alzheimer’s. People suffering from this disease will often withdraw from social events, hobbies or even work, and this reticence can increase as the disease progresses.
Difficulty expressing thoughts:
If you see a loved one who is typically a great conversationalist having trouble finding the right words to say, it might be a sign of early Alzheimer’s. They may pause in the middle of what they’re talking about or forget how to finish a sentence. Another common sign is repeating stories or sentences.
While we all misplace our keys from time to time, incessant episodes of memory loss can be a clear sign of early-onset Alzheimer’s. Frequently losing track of dates and times as well as physical objects could indicate Alzheimer’s-related memory loss. Loved ones may become so frustrated with their inability to find something that they start accusing others of stealing it.
Identifying Alzheimer’s is not easy but looking for subtle changes in behavior can be key. We encourage you to consult a physician to learn more about additional symptoms and how to spot them. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, we encourage you to contact your local advisor to learn more about memory care communities that may be the right fit.