Most of you reading this article are dealing with someone who has already received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, so I’m not going to go into the eleven warning signs too deeply:
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life, especially asking the same question over and over.
- Challenges in planning or problem solving, such as no longer being able to follow a recipe or taking much longer than usual to do routine tasks.
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks, like driving to a destination the person knows well or forgetting how to play a simple game.
- Confusion with time or place, so that they may not be able to keep track of what day it is or where they are.
- Trouble understanding visual images or spatial relationships, so that activities like driving or reading may become difficult.
- New problems with speaking and writing that go beyond just forgetting the occasional word. Some may be unable to continue a conversation.
- Losing things and not being able to find them because they can’t remember enough to retrace their steps.
- Decreased or poor judgment, particularly over money matters, but this may also be visible via changes in grooming habits.
- Withdrawal from work or social activities, often because of embarrassment.
- Changes in mood and personality. They may be moody, become suspicious even of people they know, and become easily upset.
11. Finally, here’s a new symptom that has recently been discovered: an inability to tell truth from untruth, including everything from outright lies to mere sarcasm.
One reason to become familiar with these signs, even if the person in your care has already been diagnosed, is that, as a caregiver, you’re a source of knowledge for friends, relatives, and neighbors on the subject of Alzheimer’s. You’re likely to be asked questions, so knowing these eleven signs will probably come in handy.