It is common for aging individuals to experience problems with memory, but many of the symptoms may not be the common signs of aging. Memory lapses are most commonly associated with the early stages of Alzheimer’s, and in aging individuals, these problems should not be overlooked.
Individuals with Alzheimer’s experience problems communicating, learning, thinking, and reasoning. These problems are so severe that they affect a person’s ability to work and socialize. Although there is no effective way of diagnosing Alzheimer’s in the early stages of the disease, there are ten warning signs that will help victims receive early care and support for the disease.
The first sign of Alzheimer’s is memory loss; a sick person will often forget learned information, which are the early signs of dementia. The Alzheimer’s victim will not be able to recall forgotten information later.
The second sign of the disease is experiencing difficulty performing familiar tasks. People with Alzheimer’s will have a difficult time planning and completing daily tasks. Sick persons may also lose track of the steps involved in preparing a meal or playing a game.
The third warning sign involves problems with language. Alzheimer’s victims often forget words, or substitute unusual words, making their speech or writing hard to understand. They might replace common words with abstract descriptions, such as replacing the word toothbrush with “that thing for my mouth.”
The fourth warning sign is disorientation to time and place. Sometimes individuals with the diseases become lost in their own neighborhood, and forget where they are and how they got there, and don’t know how to get home.
Another sign of Alzheimer’s is having poor judgement skills. Alzheimer’s victims commonly dress inappropriately. People with the disease may wear several layers on a warm day and vice versa; they may also wear pajamas over normal clothing. They may also show poor judgement in money management areas, and may be willing to give money to almost anyone. The normal aging person may make a questionable decision occasionally.
The next warning sign involves having problems with abstract thinking. A sick person may have incredible difficulty performing complex mental tasks, such as counting back from 40 by 4s.
The seventh sign of Alzheimer’s is the common misplacement of things. Individuals may place things in unusual places, or in places they don’t belong. Misplacing valuables is also a common symptom of Alzheimer’s disease.
The next sign of the disease is changes in mood or behavior. Rapid mood swings are common in people with Alzheimer’s, the sick person may move from a calm mood to an angry or agitated mood for no apparent reason. Victims of Alzheimer’s may also seem subdued and withdrawn in socially challenging situations.
The ninth sign of Alzheimer’s involves changes in personality. The person with the disease may experience a dramatic personality change. A sick person may become often confused, agitated, paranoid, and anxious. The normal sign of aging involves a mild personality change, but people typically remain the same with age.
The final sign of Alzheimer’s is a loss of initiative. People with the disease may become passive, and may watch television for hours without communicating with others. Sick persons may also sleep more than usual, and may shy away from normal activities.