10 Warning Signs Of Alzheimer’s You Need To Know

Sad senior man with dementia looking at jigsaw on table

Imagine waking up one day and not being able to remember the faces of your loved ones, or struggle to recall simple tasks you’ve done a million times before. This terrifying scenario is a reality for millions of individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive brain disorder that slowly erases memories and cognitive functions.

Recognizing the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease is crucial for timely intervention and support. The 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s help in identifying symptoms early, allowing for better management and care for those affected. This post outlines the key indicators that healthcare professionals, caregivers, and organizations should be aware of to arrange the facilitation of effective and compassionate care.

Memory Loss Disrupts Daily Life and Normal Activities

Memory loss is one of the most common early signs of Alzheimer’s. It disrupts daily life by causing affected individuals to forget important dates, events, and recently learned information. This significant memory loss often leads to increased reliance on family members or memory aids, affecting daily routines.

Frequent Challenges in Planning or Solving Problems

People with Alzheimer’s often find it challenging to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. They may have trouble keeping track of monthly bills or following a familiar recipe. The ability to concentrate and think things through diminishes over time, complicating routine tasks and responsibilities.

Increasing Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks at Home or Work

Alzheimer’s can make it hard for individuals to complete everyday tasks. They might struggle to drive to a familiar location, manage a budget at work, or remember the rules of a favorite game. Routine activities become more difficult to execute correctly, leading to frustration and confusion.

Confusion with Time or Place Occurs More Regularly

People with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons, and the passage of time. They may forget where they are or how they got there. This confusion with time and place increases as the disease progresses, leading to greater disorientation and a heightened sense of anxiety.

Decreased or Poor Judgment Affects Decision-Making

Alzheimer’s can impair judgment and decision-making, leading to a wide range of problems in everyday life. One of the early signs is making poor financial decisions, such as giving large amounts of money to telemarketers or falling for scams. This vulnerability can result in significant financial losses and put individuals at risk of exploitation. Additionally, those with Alzheimer’s may exhibit decreased attention to personal grooming and cleanliness. This change can manifest as wearing inappropriate clothing for the weather, neglecting personal hygiene, or failing to maintain a clean living environment. Poor judgment also extends to safety concerns, such as forgetting to turn off the stove or leaving the faucet on.

Trouble Understanding Visual Images and Spatial Relationships

Some individuals with Alzheimer’s experience vision problems. This includes difficulty judging distance, reading, and determining color or contrast. These visual issues can lead to problems with driving and other activities that require spatial awareness, increasing the risk of accidents and injuries.

New Problems with Speaking or Writing Arise

Alzheimer’s can affect the ability to join or follow a conversation. Individuals may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue, or they may repeat themselves. They often struggle with vocabulary, have trouble naming a familiar object, or use the wrong name.

Misplacing Items and Inability to Retrace Steps

A person with Alzheimer’s disease may place things in unfamiliar places. They may lose items and not be able to retrace their steps to find them again. At times, other people may be accused of stealing, which can become more frequent over time, causing tension and misunderstandings.

Withdrawal from Work or Social Activities Becomes Evident

Individuals with Alzheimer’s may start to withdraw from hobbies, social activities, work projects, or sports that they once enjoyed. This withdrawal is often a response to the cognitive changes they are experiencing, such as difficulty remembering how to complete tasks or feeling overwhelmed by the complexity of social interactions. They may have trouble keeping up with a favorite sports team or remembering the rules of a game they once loved. Social withdrawal can lead to isolation, as the person may feel embarrassed or frustrated by their declining abilities. This reduction in engagement with previously enjoyable activities not only affects the individual’s quality of life but can also impact their emotional and mental health.

Changes in Mood and Personality Appear More Pronounced

The mood and personality of a person with Alzheimer’s can undergo significant changes. They can become disordered, doubtful, depressed, fearful, or anxious, even in familiar settings. These mood swings can be sudden and without obvious cause, leading to unpredictable behavior. Affected individuals may become easily upset at home, at work, with friends, or in places where they are out of their comfort zone.

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Seminar and Training at NCCDP

Our Alzheimer’s disease and dementia care seminar provides in-depth knowledge about person-centered care. We offer care training programs aimed at enhancing the skills of caregivers and healthcare professionals. At NCCDP, we are dedicated to improving dementia care standards. Participate and learn how to improve your caregiving abilities.

About the Author

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The NCCDP staff consists of a full team of experts in dementia care & education.