According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) affects more than 5 million people in the United States. However, it may go undiagnosed because the symptoms are mistakenly associated with natural signs of aging.

For example, memory loss is common as we age. But when it begins to disrupt daily life, it may be a symptom of AD.  A decline in memory is only one sign of AD. Here are ten signs that might indicate the onset of Alzheimer’s in your loved ones.

  1. Memory Loss – Forgetting details or losing keys from time to time is common. Asking the same question over and over again is not, and may be a sign of AD. Forgetting important dates and events may also be a sign of dementia.
  2. Difficulty Solving Problems – Having difficulty following plans or working with numbers can indicate the presence of AD. When balancing a check book or following a recipe becomes a challenge, it may be Alzheimer’s.
  3. Difficulty Completing Tasks – Does your loved one often forget how to perform routine daily tasks such as making a cup of tea? Do they get lost when driving to a familiar location? This symptom is common in people with AD.
  4. Confusion with Time or Place – Losing sense of time may be a sign of AD. People with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. They may also forget where they are and how they got there.
  5. Difficulty with Vision – In addition to having trouble with vision, those with AD also might have difficulty judging distances and determining colors.
  6. Withdrawal from Social Events – Persons with AD can become increasingly withdrawn from common social events, work projects, or hobbies that were previously important to them.
  7. Mood Swings – If someone has AD, they can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends or in places that are unfamiliar.
  8. Problems with Words – If your loved one often forgets how to finish a sentence, is repetitive in conversation, or has difficulty finding the right words, it can be a sign of AD.
  9. Difficulty Making Decisions – Poor judgment can be a sign of AD. It might be financial decisions (donating large amounts of money to charities or telemarketers) or poor hygiene. If they stop bathing and you see them wearing the same clothes day after day, it may indicate AD.
  10. Inability to Retrace Steps – We all lose things from time to time. But we can usually retrace our steps to find what we lost. People with AD are unable to retrace their steps to find missing items.

Any of these signs by itself may not be worrisome, but when a loved one starts exhibiting more than one, or they increase in severity, it may indicate the presence of Alzheimer’s Disease. It is important to make an appointment to see a physician.

If your loved one has Alzheimer’s Disease, the caregivers at NorthStar Home Care are trained to attend to their specific needs.

Sources: www.alz.org, www.healthline.com

In-home health care Long Grove, IL. In-home health care Lake Zurich, IL.