Alzheimer’s Disease almost always presents some early warning signs before the illness becomes pronounced. Here are five signs that a loved one may be developing the condition:
1. Memory Loss
Memory loss is often the first sign of the illness. While minor memory loss is a normal part of the aging process, the memory loss of early Alzheimer’s is far more pronounced. Someone in the early stages of Alzheimer’s may forget information that they learned very recently. This may occur during the course of a brief conversation. Often times, an individual with Alzheimer’s may develop coping mechanisms to deal with the memory loss. This may include writing down reminders or asking family members for reminders for events or appointments that are scheduled for later in the day or the next day.
Memory loss is a particularly worrying symptom if your loved one previously had an exceptionally good memory. Memory loss is also especially worrying if your loved one’s memory appears to be getting progressively worse over the course of time.
Often times, people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s find it difficult to cope with day to day events. This may cause them to become fearful or depressed at unexpected times. In other cases, someone with the early stages of the disease might become suspicious of others without evidence. In some cases, an individual with early stage Alzheimer’s may suffer from a constant state of anxiety, fear, and paranoia. Often, the changes in mood and personality make it difficult for the individual to participate in activities that they once enjoyed.
People in the early stages of Alzheimer’s often become more impulsive. This may result in overspending or behavior that endangers their personal safety. Some people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s may become quick to anger. Also, people in the early stages of the disease tend to pay less attention to their personal appearance.
3. Misplacing Items
In many cases, someone in the early stages of Alzheimer’s will frequently misplace items. Also, they might be unable to retrace their steps. If the items are discovered, they could be found in extremely unusual places where they are of little to no use.
In some cases, an individual in the early stages of the disease may forget how to perform basic chores. Sometimes, these difficulties are relatively subtle. For instance, someone in the early stages of the disease could become confused when performing calculations for budgeting purposes.
If these difficulties occur regularly and are out of character for the individual, it could be an early symptom of Alzheimer’s. It’s important to note that seniors who aren’t suffering from dementia often experience occasional difficulties with complex tasks.
However, difficulties with tasks in the early stages of the disease can also be quite pronounced. For instance, an individual who once was skilled at cooking could forget how to operate a stove as the progression of the disease begins.
In some cases, the disorientation of the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease manifests itself as frequently forgetting the day of the week or date. However, occasional disorientation of this type can occur in healthy people. People with Alzheimer’s may have difficulty keeping track of the passage of time.
Other people with early Alzheimer’s Disease may have more serious disorientation, such as forgetting where they are located and how they got there. These episodes are often sporadic in the early stages of the disease, but it’s important to ensure that your loved one immediately seeks medical attention after an episode of this type of confusion.