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What Are Warning Signs Of Alzheimer’s Disease

Spatial And Visual Disorientation

Ten Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Individuals with early onset Alzheimers will find it difficult to navigate certain environments. For instance, the black tiles in a black-and-white tiled floor may be misperceived as holes in the floor. Distance can be confusing like slowing down at a stop sign. Related signs include tripping over objects in the home, and spilling or dropping things more frequently. One fact to remember is that for some individuals, a significant change in vision is an early warning sign.

Taking Longer To Complete Basic Tasks

As most people get older, they tend to slow down a little bit, both physically and mentally. However, if you’re losing the ability to follow plans and having trouble concentrating, meaning things take considerably longer than they used to, that could be an indication an Alzheimer’s diagnosis isn’t far off.

Early Warning Signs Of Alzheimers Disease

    Memory loss that disrupts daily life

    Forgetting recently learned information or important dates or events, asking the same questions over and over, and increasingly relying on memory aids such as notes, electronic devices or family members for things they used to handle on their own.

    Typical age-related change: sometimes forgetting names or appointments but remembering them later.

    Challenges in planning or solving problems

    Changes in the ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers, trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills, difficulty concentrating and taking much longer to do things than before.

    Typical age-related change: Making occasional errors when managing finances or household bills.

    Difficulty completing familiar tasks

    Finding it hard to complete daily tasks, having trouble driving to familiar locations, organizing a grocery list or remembering the rules of a favorite game.

    Typical age-related change: occasionally needing help to use microwave settings or to record a TV show.

    Confusion with time or place

    Losing track of dates, seasons and the passage of time, trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately, forgetting where they are or how they got there.

    Typical age-related change: getting confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later.

    Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships

    Typical age-related change: vision changes related to cataracts.

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    Recognizing The Signs Of Alzheimers

    Lamborn

    The holidays are a time of year when families gather together for what might be the first time in months or even years.

    Thats especially true this year as COVID-19 vaccinations have made it safer for people to travel and visit family in person.

    Thats also how many family members first notice signs and symptoms of Alzheimers and other forms of dementia in their loved ones over the holiday season.

    Dementia is a general term for loss of memory and other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life. It is caused by physical changes in the brain, according to alz.org.

    It is important to know that Alzheimers and dementia are not just normal aging, said Stephanie Laskey, program director for the Greater Indiana Chapter. And if you do notice signs, it is important to address the situation. The symptoms may be caused by something else, but if they are caused by dementia, getting a diagnosis offers a number of benefits.

    Laura Forbes, communications director of the Greater Indiana Chapter, said four tips for approaching memory concerns include assess the situation, take action through conversation, think about what to say and reach out for help.

    Consider who would be the best person to discuss the concerns, such as a family member, a friend or a combination of the two. Its usually best to speak one-on-one so the person doesnt feel threatened by a group.

    Diminished Sense Of Smell

    Dont Miss the Early Warning Signs of Alzheimers Disease ...

    You used to be able to smell those fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies immediately, and now you hardly notice them. According to the National Institute on Aging, losing your sense of smell can be a symptom of Alzheimer’s, so it’s crucial to bring it up to your doctor if you notice any changes. Loss of smell and taste is also a symptom of coronavirus. And for more concerning COVID-19 signs, check out 13 Coronavirus Symptoms That Are More Common Than a Sore Throat.

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    Dementia & Alzheimer’s Infographic

    Want to post this infographic on your own site or blog? Copy the code below and paste it into your site’s/blog’s “text” or “source” editor:

    < div style=”clear: both “> < a href=”https://keystone.health/early-warning-signs-dementia-alzheimers”> < img src=”https://keystone.health/images/resources/keystone-dementia-infographic.png” alt=”Dementia and Alzheimer’s Infographic” /> < /a> < br /> < br /> < a href=”https://keystone.health/early-warning-signs-dementia-alzheimers”> Early Warning Signs of Dementia & Alzheimer’s< /a> created by < a href=”https://keystone.health/”> Keystone Health< /a> < /div>

    Not Being Able To Follow Recipes

    Something as minor as whipping up a home-cooked meal can be a struggle for those in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. If someone loses their ability to follow a recipeespecially one they’ve made a thousand timesthat might be an indication of the cognitive changes that commonly occur in the early stages of the disease.

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    What To Do When A Loved One Is Exhibiting Symptoms Of Alzheimers

    If these symptoms persist and are interfering with a loved ones ability to lead a normal life, its time to intervene or at least start carefully monitoring their well-being. Don’t let yourself or a family member remain in denial about what may be Alzheimers. With early diagnosis, treatment and proper support, the progression of Alzheimers can sometimes be mitigated. Its never too soon to learn what can be done to ensure a loved ones health, happiness, and safety.

  • See a medical professional. There are many tests today that can help determine whether someone is suffering from Alzheimers. There are also many treatments and medications that may help. If a loved one is suspect about a trip to the doctor, it could be done under the guise of a routine medical exam.
  • Enlist the support of family and friends. Dont try to manage this alone. A network of support is needed.
  • Locate local support groups. These can be an invaluable resource offering practical advice as well as emotional support for caregivers. You will find that you are not alone.
  • Educate yourself. Go online and youll find lots of information about Alzheimers. A lot of research and advice is readily available. This is not a new disease. There is significant clinical research today which provides a better understanding of Alzheimers and what we can do about it.
  • Resources

    Early Symptoms Of Dementia

    7 Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

    Although the early signs vary, common early symptoms of dementia include:

    • memory problems, particularly remembering recent events
    • increasing confusion
    • apathy and withdrawal or depression
    • loss of ability to do everyday tasks.

    Sometimes, people fail to recognise that these symptoms indicate that something is wrong. They may mistakenly assume that such behaviour is a normal part of the ageing process. Symptoms may also develop gradually and go unnoticed for a long time. Also, some people may refuse to act, even when they know something is wrong.

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    Putting Things In Strange Places

    Everyone forgets where they put their keys every once in a while, and sometimes you’re so tired that you might accidentally put the milk in the cupboard. That’s totally normal! For those with Alzheimer’s, though, misplacing possessions and putting them in places that don’t make sense happens with startling frequency, according to the Mayo Clinic. And for more age-related health issues to be aware of, check out these 40 Things Doctors Say Affect Your Health After 40.

    Trouble Keeping Track Of And Paying Bills

    Every month, you know exactly which bills are due and whenor at least, you used to know. In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, working with numbers becomes difficult, making it hard to ensure payments are going out on time. If you suddenly struggle to remember to pay the same bills you’ve been paying for years, talk to your doctor about the possibility of early onset dementia.

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    Trouble With The Passage Of Time

    Typically, time isn’t a real problem. Most people are able to tell the difference between a few minutes and a few hours. But one early sign of Alzheimer’s is when someone’s perception of time is affected.

    “Five minutes can seem like five hours for someone with ,” Lisa P. Gwyther, MSW, LCSW, an associate professor at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University, told CBS News. “So a husband may think his wife has been gone for hours or even weeks, even if it’s just been a few minutes, or he might tell his grandchild that he hasn’t seen him in five years, even though he just saw him yesterday.”

    Frequently Asked Questions About Dementia

    Niko
  • What are the early signs and symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s?Some of the most common early signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s symptoms include trouble remembering recent events, difficulty concentrating, increased mental confusion, changes in behavior or personality, apathy or withdrawal, and depression or anxiety. While these first signs of dementia may seem somewhat unassuming it is important to notice when these symptoms are occurring on a regular basis.
  • Is short-term memory loss a sign of dementia?Changes in memory is a normal sign of aging, but significant memory loss may be a sign of dementia. Additionally, having trouble remembering recently learned information can be an early warning sign of dementia.
  • What is the life expectancy of someone with dementia?Life expectancy depends largely on the patient’s age and health, and can range anywhere from 1 to 26 years, according to one study. Every case is different, and it depends on the type of dementia the patient has. The general life expectancy for an Alzheimer’s patient is 8 to 12 years from the date of diagnosis. Patients diagnosed around the age of 60 tend to decline more slowly than those diagnosed over the age of 80.
  • Can dementia be cured?There is no curative treatment for dementia currently available and no vaccination to prevent it. Medication is available to help relieve symptoms, and certain lifestyle changes may slow the progression of the disease.
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    Time And Place Become Confusing

    People sometimes forget the day of the week it is, and this is not unusual as things like stress, work, and a lot of activity tend to make us forget the day of the week. Losing track of dates altogether, not recognizing seasons of the year and not knowing what year it is are all troubling warning signs of early dementia. Forgetting where one is or how one got there is also a red flag for dementia-related memory loss and possibly more cognitive issues in the future.

    Speaking And Writing Becomes Challenging

    While we all may experience a time when we just cant find the right word to use in a conversation with others, not knowing what the word means can spell trouble. Struggling to stay in a conversation, taking turns in communicating, repeating ones self and using words in the wrong context are all tell-tale signs of Alzheimers-related memory loss.

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    Decline In Physical Hygiene

    Even if someone was strict about keeping up with good hygiene before, that may change once they begin to showcase signs of Alzheimer’s. Due to the changes in cognitive function that occur with this disease, things like taking baths or showers, changing clothes, and flossing become more difficult, says the Alzheimer’s Association. And for more ways to improve your personal well-being, check out the 100 Easy Ways to Be a Much Healthier Person, According to Science.

    A Shortened Attention Span

    Alzheimer’s Disease: Warning Signs, Symptoms, Causes

    As Alzheimer’s spreads in the brain, one issue that might pop up is a shortened attention span. Someone who used to be able to sit and have a full conversation might no longer be able to focus on just one thing for more than a few minutes or even a few seconds, according to the National Institute on Aging.

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    What Are The Signs Of Alzheimer’s Disease

    Scientists continue to unravel the complex brain changes involved in the onset and progression of Alzheimers disease. It seems likely that damage to the brain starts a decade or more before memory and other cognitive problems appear. During this preclinical stage of Alzheimers disease, people seem to be symptom-free, but toxic changes are taking place in the brain.

    Damage occurring in the brain of someone with Alzheimers disease begins to show itself in very early clinical signs and symptoms. For most people with Alzheimersthose who have the late-onset varietysymptoms first appear in their mid-60s. Signs of early-onset Alzheimers begin between a persons 30s and mid-60s.

    The first symptoms of Alzheimers vary from person to person. Memory problems are typically one of the first signs of cognitive impairment related to Alzheimers disease. Decline in non-memory aspects of cognition, such as word-finding, vision/spatial issues, and impaired reasoning or judgment, may also signal the very early stages of Alzheimers disease. And some people may be diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. As the disease progresses, people experience greater memory loss and other cognitive difficulties.

    Alzheimers disease progresses in several stages: preclinical, mild , moderate, and severe .

    Withdrawal From Usual Activities

    Apathy, lack of interest, and withdrawal from people and activities around you can be indicative of early dementia.

    Examples include no longer following a favorite sports team, being apathetic about spending time with treasured grandchildren, giving up knitting or woodworking, and skipping the monthly get-togethers with good friends.

    What it’s not: Needing a longer break between activities or occasionally feeling overloaded with obligations.

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    Problem Solving And Planning Difficulties

    Another hallmark of Alzheimers disease is the inability to solve common problems that are not that difficult to handle. Planning ahead is included in this warning sign because it is associated with the ability to solve issues both now and in the future. Examples include forgetting a favorite recipe, or paying monthly bills.

    Can Alzheimers Disease Or Dementia Be Prevented

    World Alzheimers Month 2017

    Certain lifestyle choices can lower your risks. These include:

    Take care of your heart People who have heart disease have a higher risk of developing Alzheimers disease and vascular dementia.

    Take steps to lower your blood pressure. Watch out for high cholesterol and treat diabetes.

    Get plenty of exercise People who get lots of exercise have healthier brain cells. This is because more exercise makes blood and oxygen pump into the brain. It also helps your heart health.

    Did you knoweven a single workout session can benefit your brain!

    Eat a healthy diet Eat a healthy diet with lots of whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Doing so will boost your heart health and protect your brain.

    Eat plenty of fish, nuts, olive oil, and other healthy fats. Try these top 4 brain foods for starters.

    Have a strong social network Keep mentally and socially active. Doing so has been linked to a lower risk of cognitive decline.

    Get the right amount of sleep Studies have linked losing sleep to Alzheimers disease. It leads to an increase in blood levels of the amyloid proteins that are found in the brains of patients with Alzheimers disease.

    Engage your brain Challenge your brain on a regular basis to keep it healthy. Though no one activity has been linked to preventing dementia or Alzheimers disease, its always a good idea to challenge your brain.

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    Confusion With Time Or Place

    With Alzheimers disease, disorientation is a common symptom. It may include:

    • Not knowing what season or year it is
    • Not knowing your location
    • Not understanding why youre in a certain location

    As Alzheimers progresses, some may believe they are younger than they really are because of an unawareness of time passing.

    What its not: Wondering what the date is and checking the calendar.

    Early Symptoms Of Alzheimers Disease

    The first signs are usually minor and can easily go unnoticed early on. During the early stages, the primary symptoms are:

    • Increase in aggressive behavior.
    • Frequently repeating questions and forgetting things.
    • Getting lost.
    • Complications and issues with handling money.
    • Requiring a long time to complete a daily task.
    • Misplacing items.

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    How To Spot Early Indicators That Your Loved One May Have Alzheimers Or Dementia

    by Patrick J. Kiger, AARP, Updated May 4, 2021| 0

    En espaƱol | From age 50 on, its not unusual to have occasional trouble finding the right word or remembering where you put things.

    But persistent difficulty with memory, cognition and ability to perform everyday tasks might be signs that something more serious is happening to a loved ones brain.

    Dementia isnt actually a disease, according to the Mayo Clinic. Its a catch-all term for changes in the brain that cause a loss of functioning that interferes with daily life. Dementia can diminish focus, the ability to pay attention, language skills, problem-solving and visual perception. It also can make it difficult for a person to control his or her emotions and lead to personality changes.

    More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s dementia, according to a 2021 report by the Alzheimer’s Association. Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of dementia, accounting for 60 percent to 70 percent of cases, but a range of brain illnesses can lead to the condition .

    Diseases that cause dementia

    These conditions are the leading causes of dementia. Many patients have mixed dementia, a combination of two or more types, such as Alzheimers and vascular dementia.

    Vascular dementia. The second most common type of dementia is caused from damage to the vessels that supply blood to the brain. It tends to affect focus, organization, problem-solving and speed of thinking more noticeably than memory.

    When To See A Gp

    Symptoms of Alzheimers Disease | 10 Warning Signs

    If you’re worried about your memory or think you may have dementia, it’s a good idea to see a GP.

    If you’re worried about someone else’s memory problems, encourage them to make an appointment and perhaps suggest that you go along with them.

    Memory problems are not just caused by dementia they can also be caused by depression, stress, medicines or other health problems.

    A GP can carry out some simple checks to try to find out what the cause may be, and they can refer you to a specialist for more tests if necessary.

    Read more about diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease.

    Page last reviewed: 05 July 2021 Next review due: 05 July 2024

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