Many people may notice specific physical and emotional changes with their age. Some changes, such as loss in memory or vision, are a normal part of healthy aging. However, you should become more attentive towards them if they start to have a considerable impact on your daily life.
There are ten warning signs, different from normal aging, that can tell if you are heading towards developing Alzheimer’s disease. Keeping an eye on them may help in early detection and future planning.
Memory Loss That Disrupts Daily Life
Occasionally forgetting things, such as appointments or a friend’s name, occasionally, but remembering them after a short while is a normal part of healthy aging.
Memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease involves trouble recalling recently learned information. Alzheimer’s patients forget things more often, repeatedly ask the same questions, rely on memory aids (such as reminders or sticky notes) or family members for things they used to manage themselves. Memory loss due to Alzheimer’s interferes with the patient’s regular daily activities.
What is Normal? Forgetting names or appointments once in a while, but remembering them after some time.
Challenges in planning or solving problems
Some people may find it challenging to devise and adhere to a plan or solve number-related problems. They may experience difficulty following recipes they used to cook or keeping track of monthly bills. Furthermore, people with Alzheimer’s may have trouble concentrating and require more time to carry out tasks than they did before.
What is Normal? Making infrequent miscalculations while balancing a checkbook
Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or at leisure
The loss of memory in people with Alzheimer’s often makes it hard for them to complete familiar day-to-day tasks. They may experience trouble driving to their familiar locations, remembering the rules of their favorite game, or dealing with the budget at work.
What is Normal? Sometimes requiring assistance for using specific setting on a microwave or recording a TV show.
Confusion with time or place
Alzheimer’s patients may lose track of seasons and dates. They can get confused about the passage of time and may experience trouble grasping an event if it is not happening immediately. They may even get lost at their familiar places without knowing where they are and how to get back home.
What is Normal? Forgetting the day of the week but remembering it a short while later.
Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
The loss of vision is a common sign of aging. However, it is graver in the case of Alzheimer’s. People with Alzheimer’s disease may find it difficult to read, determine distance, decide contrast, or even tell colors apart. They also experience disturbances in perception. While passing by a mirror, they may mistake their reflection in the mirror for someone else.
What is Normal? Cataract-related loss of vision
New problems with words in speaking or writing
It may become difficult for people with Alzheimer’s to follow or join a conversation. They may forget simple words, stop in the middle of the conversation without knowing how to continue, or continuously repeat themselves. Sometimes, they may struggle with vocabulary, use the wrong words to express themselves, and substitute various words without making sense.
What is Normal? Sometimes being unable to find the right word.
Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
Misplacing things is common for people with Alzheimer’s. They may place their belongings in unexpected places and find it difficult to retrace their steps to find them. They may even accuse others of stealing. Such incidents become more frequent with time.
What is Normal? Misplacing things such as keys or wallets temporarily every once in a while.
Decreased or poor judgment
Changes in judgment or decision-making are also typical signs of Alzheimer’s disease. For instance, the patients may exhibit impaired judgment while dealing with money and get scammed. They may not even care about their grooming, hygiene, or well-being.
What is Normal? Making bad decisions from time to time.
Withdrawal from work or social activities
Alzheimer’s patients may withdraw themselves from the work or activities they usually do. They may begin to distance themselves from their favorite sports team or experience trouble partaking in their favorite hobby. The changes due to Alzheimer’s disease may make them withdraw from social activities.
What is Normal? Feeling tired of work, family, and social duties at times.
Changes in mood and personality
People with Alzheimer’s may face changes in their mood and personality. They may experience confusion, suspicion, depression, fear, or anxiety. They may exhibit various mood swings and get easily upset with anything at work, home, or unfamiliar places. Patients may also experience a lack of interest and loss of initiative in day to day life.
What is Normal? Developing particular ways of doing things and getting irritated when it is disturbed.