Every June, the world marks Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. It’s a significant event that affects millions of lives around the world.
You’re probably one of them because an estimated 55 million people around the world are affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Alzheimer’s is a disease of the brain that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills.
It affects everyday life and you probably know someone personally who has or has had the disease. Alzheimer’s kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined and 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
Here are the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s from the Alzheimer’s Association.
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life
Forgetting recently learned information is one of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s. Other signs include:
- Forgetting important dates or events
- Asking the same question repeatedly
- Needing memory aids such as reminder notes or electronic devices
- Relying on family members for things you used to do on your own
2) Difficulty completing tasks that are familiar
Completing daily tasks are hard for people with Alzheimer’s. Driving to a familiar place, making a grocery list, or the rules of a favorite game may also be a struggle.
3) Confused about the time or the place
The ability to track dates, seasons, and passage of time affect people with Alzheimer’s. They may struggle to understand something not happening right now. They may forget where they are or how they got there.
4) Troubles with words in speaking or writing
A person with Alzheimer’s can have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may pause in a conversation and have no idea how to go on. They may repeat themselves. Finding the words can be a struggle. Or they may not be able to name a familiar object, or call it the wrong name.
5) Trouble with visual images and spatial relationships
Seeing well may be a sign of Alzheimer’s. Vision issues may cause problems with balance or trouble reading. Judging distance and determining color or contrast can be a problem, which can cause driving issues.
6) Struggles to plan or solve problems
People with Alzheimer’s struggle to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. Even finishing a familiar recipe may be hard. Tracking monthly bills are hard. So is concentrating and take much longer to do things than before.
7) Misplaced things or can’t retrace steps
They may put items in unusual places. They may easily lose things. Then they can’t retrace their steps to find them. They may accuse others of stealing from them, especially as the Alzheimer’s progresses.
8) Decreased or poor judgment
A person with Alzheimer’s may struggle with making judgments or decision-making. Trying to make decisions about money, or paying less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean are signs of Alzheimer’s.
9) Withdrawing from their work or social activities
Since they may struggle to hold or follow a conversation, they may withdraw from hobbies, social activities, or other engagements. Another indicator is a struggle to keep up with a favorite team or activity.
10) Changes in their personality or mood swings
They may have mood and personality changes. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, with friends or when they’re out of their comfort zone.
Don’t ignore these signs if you see them in yourself or some you know. Please make an appointment with your doctor or encourage the person with these signs of Alzheimer’s to see a doctor.
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