According to the Alzheimer’s Association, in the United States someone develops Alzheimer’s disease every 67 seconds and 1 in 3 seniors will die with Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia. As we age, forgetful moments will happen, and they don’t always mean someone is developing Alzheimer’s. But it is important to recognize the early signs Alzheimer’s in a loved one or family member so you can talk to your doctor and begin early interventions if necessary.
Common Signs of Alzheimer’s
Memory Loss – The most common common sign of Alzheimer’s is memory loss, especially recently learned information. You may notice your loved one can still remember details from years past, but struggle to remember what they did earlier that day or even details of a conversation they just had. They may forget to take medications or ask the same question several times and not remember the answer you gave.
Poor Money Management – As memory declines some exhibit poor judgement when handling money or paying the bills. Difficulty managing a checkbook or checking account, over-paying bills, or forgetting to send them at all.
Changes in Mood – Many people with Alzheimer’s will experience mood swings going from calm to agitated very quickly. Family members may notice the person losing interest in activities they once enjoyed and becoming withdrawn and irritable. Some people experiencing early memory loss recognize something is wrong and it scares them. Withdrawing from activities and staying close to home can be a method of coping with a changing world they are having trouble navigating.
Difficulty with Everyday Tasks – A person suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia may take longer to complete everyday tasks like dressing, bathing or cooking. You may notice their clothes don’t match, or their hair isn’t combed or styled anymore. As the disease progresses it becomes more and more difficult to complete tasks without assistance.
Misplacing Things – Everyone misplaces things from time to time, but people with Alzheimer’s will often hide or leave items in unusual places that don’t make sense to anyone else. Some will become agitated when they can’t find something they have mis-placed and accuse others of taking or hiding their belongings.
Talk to a Doctor About Memory Loss
If you suspect a loved one may have Alzheimer’s it is important to talk to their doctor and find out if an underlying health issue is causing the changes, or if memory loss is suspected. The earlier it is diagnosed the sooner you can plan for the right care and assistance.
Asking family members to help around the house, hiring nurses or health-care aids to assist with every day activities such as cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping and personal care.
As the disease progresses, a residential facility may become necessary, especially for older adults who live alone or those with spouses who can’t physically provide around the clock care their loved one needs.
The Memory Center communities in Virgina Beach and Midlothian, VA care for those living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Our communities are specifically designed to meet the needs of an aging brain and incorporate activities to fight boredom and agitation including music, art, sports, walks outside, and daily social activities.
If you are considering care for Alzheimer’s or dementia contact us for more information or schedule a tour.