Alzheimer’s Disease is a type of dementia currently affecting more than 5 million Americans, mostly seniors. While there is no cure, early detection offers the best path for coping with the disease. We know how difficult this can be for you as a Florida senior who receives such a diagnosis or when it is your loved one who you care about.
We know planning early and well is critical on this issue. Let us share ten early warning signs that may mean that you or a loved one could be at risk.
1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life. Memory loss is probably the most well-known aspect of Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. This type of memory loss is more than just the forgetfulness of old age. If the loss of memory interrupts the basics of everyday living then it is a good idea to consider seeking a medical evaluation.
2. Challenges in planning or solving problems. New difficulties in routine tasks, like paying bills or following cooking recipes, may be signs that something diagnosable is developing.
3. Difficulty completing tasks whether at home or work. Activities that were once second-nature may require help or become insurmountable could be the sign of a more serious problem. This is especially true if they persist over time.
4. Confusion with time or place. Aging adults may forget certain dates, but they usually remember when reminded. If they get confused with where they are and how they got there, however, that may be an early sign of dementia.
5. Trouble understanding visual images or spatial relationships. Vision problems beyond cataracts and other common maladies can be important signs to be aware of.
6. New problems with speaking or writing. Be mindful of an elder loved one calling familiar people and things by the wrong name, or significantly struggling to find the right name.
7. Misplacing things and an inability to retrace steps. Early onset dementia might lead someone to place things in unusual places without being able to find them. Watch not only for the initially misplacement but also the continued inability to retrace your steps.
8. Decreased or poor judgement. The normal aging process sometimes involves bad decisions, but losing track of basic grooming and safe behaviors could be a sign of dementia.
9. Withdraw from work or social activities. Isolation from family and friends is a sign that something is not right, especially if combined with other warning signs. Do not wait to seek help or talk to your loved one if this continues.
10. Changes in mood or personality. People with early Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia can change significantly, often becoming confused, suspicious, depressed, and fearful.
While these are just a few of the warning signs to watch out for, remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Whether it is planning for a potential need for long-term care with us or visiting with your family doctor to discuss your concerns, get the answers you need sooner rather than later. Do not wait to contact us with your questions.