Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease – What Are They?
By definition, Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive mental deterioration that can occur in middle or old age, due to generalized degeneration of the brain. It is the most common form of dementia and is typically associated with aging. While aging is the greatest risk factor, it is not a normal part of aging and does not affect all elderly people.The signs of Alzheimer’s Disease can appear earlier in life. This early onset of the disease accounts for up to 5% of those affected and can appear in a person who is only in their 40’s or 50’s.
When attempting to identify the disease, there are certain things to look for. If multiple signs appear in a loved one or even one sign that is particularly severe, it is time to consult your family physician. Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, an early diagnosis can provide the opportunity for treatments that can slow the onset of symptoms. It will also allow your loved one to have a say in their future care before their cognitive abilities are diminished.
Issues with memory is usually the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s Disease. Those who are affected tend to be forgetful, especially with recent occurrences. This is referred to as “short term memory loss”. Remembering names of familiar people or common objects will eventually become difficult.
Other common memory issues include forgetting conversations, appointments or important events. Alzheimer’s patients will often repeat the same stories or questions and are likely to misplace their possessions, sometimes leaving them in odd places. This can potentially result in disastrous consequences.
Confusion or Disorientation
These common signs of Alzheimer’s Disease are usually apparent in its earliest stages. This confusion or disorientation can lead to becoming lost in places that were familiar or viewing a common everyday item as if it has never been seen before.
These signs are often mistaken as typical signs of aging but this is not always the case. Especially with the elderly, early signs of confusion or disorientation should be taken seriously and be evaluated by your family physician.
Alzheimer’s can affect the one’s ability to completely comprehend activities in their surroundings. Ordinary everyday activities may suddenly appear odd or unfamiliar. Over time, it will become increasingly difficult to read, calculate numbers or judge distances. Some may even experience difficulty with identifying colors.
Proper etiquette and social dictates are often abandoned by those affected with Alzheimer’s disease. Habits they did not have before the onset of the disease such as the use of profanity, will often become a regular occurrence.
Speech and Writing Issues
The brain’s ability to comprehend is diminished in those suffering from Alzheimer’s causing those affected to experience difficulties with speech and writing, often struggling with vocabulary.
They may stop in mid sentence and their speech may become difficult or even impossible to understand. This can severely impair their ability to communicate with others and cause them to become agitated.
Also prevalent among the signs of Alzheimer’s Disease is a lack of good judgement. Those who were always frugal may start spending or investing money erratically. This lapse in judgement may also lead to personal conversations with absolute strangers or poor personal hygiene habits with someone who was previously meticulous.
As the disease advances, those affected may require constant supervision or care to carry out routine tasks in their everyday life such as eating or using the toilet.
Mood swings and personality changes are also common signs of Alzheimer’s Disease. A once happy-go-lucky person may become paranoid and fearful. Or the person who always looked at the bright side of things may become increasingly negative and agitated.
With the procession of the disease, most patients withdrawal socially and become uninterested in interaction with anyone. The resistance the social interaction can sometimes manifest it spurts of violence, even in those who were previously docile. This can become problematic as many of those affected with Alzheimer’s rely on others for supervision and care.
Be Aware of the Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease
Dealing with Alzheimer’s difficult for both those affected with it and their family members. Early diagnosis can be beneficial in allowing all concerned to make the most of the time that is left. Caring for a loved one suffering with the disease is never easy and often requires outside help or assistance.
Signature Senior Services provides seniors the supervision and comfort they need while their caregivers tend to other daily responsibilities such as work and family activities. Our medical adult day care is fully equipped to handle the difficulties faced by those affected by Alzheimer’s Disease and provide all-in-one quality healthcare. To see how we can assist you and your loved one, contact us today.