The majority of memory issues related to aging are not symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia but proof that there’s a slowdown in the processing speed of the brain, causing increased time when retrieving information. When individuals age, their ability to multitask, devote their attention to different tasks, or process information all at once declines. This can affect storing new information or memories.
Although you might be able to attribute minor memory lapses to aging, there are certain symptoms that are indicative of Alzheimer’s disease. In the event that you or a loved one is experiencing these warning signs, speak to a doctor and create a care plan as early as possible. Future living arrangements, whether in an assisted living facility in Phoenix, Arizona or home care is crucial. That said, here are Alzheimer’s disease warning signs to watch out for:
- Difficulty remembering things – Initially, the only thing that might be affected is short-term memory. Lots of aging individuals have memory loss but can still give specific details about instances of when and where they forgot about something. But acknowledging incidents of memory loss because someone asked and then not being able to remember specific incidents could indicate dementia.
- Difficulty completing common tasks – Simple and easy tasks might become harder and harder to do. For instance, forgetting to lock the front door when leaving, getting dressed, or cooking could be a sign of Alzheimer’s.
- Changes in personality – It’s perfectly natural for people to just chill and relax as they grow older. Maybe they get easily tired with socializing, have issues with vision or mobility, or simply don’t want to do physical activities that they’re not physically equipped to do. But changes in your normal temperament or disposition are not normal. For instance, you were once a social butterfly and suddenly become a hermit. Or you were always cheerful and then become sad, distrustful, angry, or stubborn.
- Depression – This is also a common co-occurring condition in many Alzheimer’s disease patients, causing symptoms such as insomnia or hypersomnia, extreme loneliness, lethargy, and loss of appetite.
- Impaired judgment – You might suddenly become very indecisive and have issues with planning or problem solving. For instance, you might suddenly find paying bills and balancing your checkbook an insurmountable task.
- Disorientation – It’s normal to momentarily forget where you’re heading when driving, but if you find yourself losing track of time or day or getting lost in your own neighborhood, this could be a dementia warning sign.
- Odd behavior – Using swear words, wandering, hiding stuff, becoming increasingly agitated and/or overly suspicious, and wearing too many or few clothing items might be symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, particularly if the individual didn’t behave or do these things before.
It is also very crucial to note that individuals at the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease might present just one or a couple of the warning signs above and would display them in varying degrees. Although Alzheimer’s disease isn’t curable as of yet, early diagnosis can result in early treatment and better quality of life.