Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Millions of people are affected by this degenerative disease, and while Alzheimer’s can affect people differently, there are some common symptoms and early warning signs. It is important to speak to your doctor if you experience these symptoms as they could be signs of serious health issues.
- Difficulty performing normally familiar tasks: People with Alzheimer’s often find it difficult to complete familiar daily tasks such as making dinner, using a home appliance, or driving a car.
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life: The most common symptom of Alzheimer’s is memory loss, particularly forgetting recently learned information or events.
- Difficulty planning or problem solving: Many people experience difficulty working with numbers and following a plan. This can make it very difficult for people with Alzheimer’s to pay monthly bills and manage their finances.
- Difficulty Communicating: While it is normal to forget words or to occasionally have trouble following a conversation, people with Alzheimer’s can frequently struggle to find the right word, stop mid-sentence or repeat themselves without realizing.
- Disorientation: One of the most alarming and potentially dangerous symptoms of Alzheimer’s is a general confusion regarding dates, places and times. People with Alzheimer’s can easily become lost and confused, with no ability to retrace their steps and unable to accurately gauge the passage of time.
- Loss of judgment: People with Alzheimer’s can experience loss of judgment or difficulty making decisions. This commonly takes the form of wearing inappropriate clothing such as wearing a bathrobe and pajamas outside or in giving away large amounts of money.
- Misplacing objects: A person with Alzheimer’s may put things in unusual places such as putting food in a clothes closet. It is common for a person with Alzheimer’s to lose objects and be unable to retrace their steps to find them.
- Mood Swings: The mood and temperament of Alzheimer’s patients can change quickly and without warning. They may become unexpectedly confused, agitated, depressed or paranoid. They can quickly become upset by friends, family members or co-workers.
- Neglecting self-care: Alzheimer’s can literally cause a person to forget to eat or drink, even missing multiple meals in a single day. As the disease progresses, people with Alzheimer’s may forget to brush their teeth, bathe, change their clothes or even use the toilet.
- Loss of initiative and general interest in life: Approximately 40% of people with Alzheimer’s also have some form of depression. Withdrawal from social interests and hobbies and sleeping excessively can be signs that a person is suffering from depression.
If you notice these symptoms in yourself or someone you know it is important to schedule an appointment with a trained medical professional as soon as possible. Early detection is vitally important to ensure the patient receives the best treatment possible.