ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE: 10 Warning Signs and Symptoms

Some forgetfulness is just a natural part of aging, but memory loss that disrupts daily life may be a symptom of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Simply defined, Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are 10 warning signs and symptoms. The organization suggests if you notice any of them, you shouldn’t ignore them. You should schedule an appointment with your doctor. Here’s what they recommend watching for:

  1. Memory Loss that Disrupts Daily Life. Especially common in the early stage of dementia is forgetting recently-learned information, important dates or events. Individuals may increasingly rely on memory aids or family members for things they used to handle on their own.
  •      What’s considered a typical age-related change?
  •      Sometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later.
  1. Challenges in Planning or Solving Problems. Having trouble following a recipe or keeping track of monthly bills may indicate a change in the ability to concentrate, follow a plan or work with numbers—early warning signs of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
  •     What’s considered a typical age-related change?
  •     Making occasional errors when balancing a checkbook.
  1. Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks. People with Alzheimer’s often find it hard to complete daily tasks. They may have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work or remembering the rules of a favorite game.
  •     What’s considered a typical age-related change?
  •     Occasionally needing help with settings on a microwave or recording a television show.
  1. Confusion with Time or Place. Individuals with Alzheimer’s may lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time—or have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately. Sometimes they forget where they are or how they got there.
  •     What’s considered a typical age-related change?
  •     Getting confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later.
  1. Trouble with Visuals and Spatial Relationships. For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer’s. They may have difficulty reading, judging distance and determining color or contrast, which may cause problems with driving.
  •      What’s considered a typical age-related change?
  •      Vision changes related to cataracts.
  1. New Problems with Words in Speaking or Writing. Following or joining a conversation may be difficult for people with Alzheimer’s. They may repeat themselves, stop in the middle of a conversation with no idea how to continue, or call things by the wrong name.
  •      What’s considered a typical age-related change?
  •      Sometimes having trouble finding the right word.
  1. Misplacing Things with Inability to Retrace Steps. A person with Alzheimer’s may put things in unusual places or lose them with increasing frequency—with no ability to go back over their steps to find them. Sometimes they may accuse others of stealing.
  •     What’s considered a typical age-related change?
  •     Misplacing things from time to time and retracing steps to find them.
  1. Decreased or Poor Judgement. People with Alzheimer’s may use poor judgment or decision-making when dealing with money, for example: giving large amounts to telemarketers. They also may pay less attention to grooming or personal hygiene.
  •     What’s considered a typical age-related change?
  •     Making a bad decision once in a while.
  1. Withdrawal from Work or Social Activities. Removing themselves from hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports may be an early sign of Alzheimer’s. They may avoid being social because they can’t remember how to take part as they once did.
  •     What’s considered a typical age-related change?
  •     Sometimes feeling weary of work, family and social obligations.
  1. Changes in Mood and Personalities. You may see changes with Alzheimer’s. Individuals can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, at work or in places where they are out of their comfort zone.
  •     What’s considered a typical age-related change?
  •     Developing ways of doing things and becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted.

If you notice any of the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s in yourself or someone you know the Alzheimer’s Association suggests you check them out.


Support Us in the 2018 Walk to End Alzheimer’s! At Vista Grande Villa, we’re participating in the Alzheimer’s Association walk on Friday, September 14 in Jackson.

Want to help?
You can make a donation to support our efforts to “Take the first step to a world without Alzheimer’s.” Just visit the online donation site.


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