Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Signs of the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease aren’t always clear-cut — they can be hard to distinguish from normal, age-related memory changes. How can you tell if someone has Alzheimer’s disease? Here are symptoms of the memory-robbing disorder.
1.) Memory loss: Although older memories might seem unaffected, people with dementia might forget recent experiences or important dates or events. Anyone can forget some details from a recent event or conversation or recall them later. People with dementia might forget the entire thing.
2.) Disorientation and confusion: People with dementia may get lost in places they know very well, like their own neighborhoods. They may have trouble completing basic and familiar tasks, like cooking dinner or shaving.
3.) Challenges in planning or solving problems: Some people may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. They may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did before.
4.) Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships: For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer’s. They may have difficulty reading, judging distance and determining color or contrast, which may cause problems with driving. They can find it tough to distinguish food from the plate it’s on, for instance.
5.) Misplacing things: Finding car keys in the freezer, the remote in a sock drawer, or routinely discovering other “missing” items in strange spots is usually a strong indicator that your family member may be suffering from dementia. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. Sometimes, they may accuse others of stealing.
6.) Repetitive speech or actions: The frequent repetition of words, statements, questions, or activities is a hallmark of dementia.Sometimes this repetitive behavior is triggered by anxiety, boredom, or fear of the environment or to achieve comfort, security, or familiarity.
7.) Loss of motor skills and sense of touch: Dementia affects fine motor skills, interfering with one’s ability to button or unbutton clothes or use utensils, like forks and knives. But motor problems, like weakness or trembling hands, or sensory symptoms, like numbness or loss of sensation, may also be a sign of a different type of disease such as Parkinson’s, so it’s important to discuss your parent’s or relative’s specific symptoms with a doctor.
Even if someone has Alzheimer’s, it doesn’t mean his or her life is over; a person with AD can live a meaningful and productive life for many years, but it’s important to get a proper diagnosis. It is better to seek an evaluation earlier to help maintain quality of life and to prevent social or medical crises due to memory loss.