Alzheimer’s disease has a gradual but profound impact on a person’s brain. It’s important to know that the scope of the disease is not limited to forgetfulness. It also affects mood, the ability to think critically, learn new information, and carry out simple, day-to-day activities.
Know the ten warning signs of this fatal, progressive disease in order to be proactive about addressing its symptoms.
- Inability to Remember Past or Current Events
Alzheimer’s disease makes it difficult to recall information that has been learned recently, so sufferers may ask for the same information repeatedly and also need frequent reminders. Important events, such as long-celebrated anniversaries or birthdays, can be suddenly forgotten.
- Struggles with Problem-Solving
Any activity that requires following a plan or working with numbers can present a challenge under Alzheimer’s. Even loved ones that have been independent and self-reliant their entire lives can find it difficult or impossible to pay the rent or manage their bills.
- Inability to Perform Daily Tasks
Simple tasks like taking the dog out for a walk can become unintentionally neglected by a loved one. Alzheimer’s disease makes it very hard to concentrate, thereby disrupting the ability to carry out day-to-day activities.
- Trouble Keeping Track of Time and Location
The ability to plan ahead and maintain schedules is one of the first ways that Alzheimer’s disease manifests itself. Sufferers may forget where they currently are, how they got to an event, or what year it is.
- Impaired Visual Acuity
A patient with Alzheimer’s can struggle to drive from one place to another even when it is a commonly traveled route. Perceiving colors, contrast and spatial awareness is notably more difficult.
- Language Difficulty
Making and maintaining conversation is marked by struggle in patients with Alzheimer’s. They often forget commonly known vocabulary words, (such as boots) and may repeat the same stories or phrases over and over.
- Losing Personal Belongings
Everyone loses their car keys from time to time, so when should misplacing things become worrisome? When a loved one regularly loses their belongings, is unable to retrace their steps to figure out where they put it, and finds it hiding in unusual places, it’s possible that they are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
- Poor Judgement
While making a poor decision every once in awhile is perfectly normal, Alzheimer’s disease has a noticeably negative effect on someone’s ability to make judgement calls. Common examples include spending overly large amounts of money or neglecting personal hygiene and grooming habits.
- Social Isolation
Those with Alzheimer’s often become increasingly withdrawn from family, friends or coworkers. Social gatherings can become stressful and overwhelming for an Alzheimer’s sufferer, so they tend to spend more and more time at home. Social isolation can worsen Alzheimer’s symptoms, making it all the more important to contact a doctor if there is a noticeable pattern.
- Sudden Mood Swings
An Alzheimer’s sufferer may experience more frequent bouts of irritability, anxiety or depression, especially when taken out of familiar routines. Perhaps they are suspicious that family members are stealing from them and become angry. If mood swings become more and more common, it may be time to seek professional medical help.
Gallagher Home Care is a Medicare-certified home health agency whose employees are trained to provide in-home, respite and companion care to seniors in a variety of circumstances. Our dedicated team serves in 8 Pennsylvania counties. Contact us at (412) 279-2257 with any questions. We are happy to give you more information about referrals and the services we offer.