Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Mayoclinic.com defines dementia as a group of symptoms that affect thinking and social abilities. These symptoms are serious enough to make your daily life difficult.1
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. But it can help if you or a loved one receives an early diagnosis. You may be able to slow down the progress of the disease. Or, you can find ways to better deal with it.
Alz.org is the Alzheimer Association’s website. It offers a helpful list of the signs of Alzheimer’s.2 If you or a loved one shows any of these signs, see a doctor immediately.
Memory loss that upsets daily life
One of the most common signs of Alzheimer's disease is memory loss. This is especially true if you forget recently learned information. Another sign is forgetting important dates or asking for the same information over and over.
Trouble with planning or solving problems
People may see changes in the ways they follow a plan or work with numbers. They may have trouble following a familiar recipe. Or they may have problems keeping track of monthly bills. They may take much longer to do things than they did before.
It’s harder to do familiar tasks at home, work or at leisure
People with Alzheimer's often find it hard to complete daily jobs. Sometimes, people may have trouble driving to a location they know. It may be harder to manage a budget at work. They may not remember the rules of a favorite game.
Confusion with time or place
People with Alzheimer's can lose track of dates and seasons. They may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there.
Trouble understanding visual images
For some people, having problems seeing is a sign of Alzheimer's. They may have a hard time reading or judging distance. These problems make it very dangerous to drive.
New problems with words in speaking or writing
People with Alzheimer's may have trouble talking with people. They may stop in the middle of a conversation. They may repeat themselves. They may have problems finding the right word. Sometimes, they may call things by the wrong name. For example, they may call a watch a "hand-clock.”
Misplacing things and not knowing how to retrace steps
A person with Alzheimer's disease may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and not be able to find them again. Sometimes, they may think others are stealing from them. This may happen more often over time.
People with Alzheimer's may have changes in judgment or decision-making. They may make poor choices when dealing with money. An example is giving large amounts of money to telemarketers. They may pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean.
Staying away from work or social activities
A person with Alzheimer's may stop doing hobbies, social activities, work projects, or sports. They may have trouble keeping up with a favorite sports team. They may not remember how to finish a favorite hobby. They may also avoid being with people because of the changes they have experienced.
Changes in mood or personality
The mood and personalities of people with Alzheimer's can change. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed, or fearful. They may be easily upset at home, at work, or with friends.
Where to find help
Alzheimer’s disease is hard on the people who have it and their loved ones. But the Alzheimer’s Association can help. Go to their website, http://www.alz.org/apps/findus.asp. You can learn about programs and services available in your area. You can also find support groups and educational workshops.3
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