Today almost everyone is directly or indirectly affected by Alzheimer’s. If you don’t know someone personally who has Alzheimer’s, the probability is high that you know someone who knows someone with Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s makes up between 60 and 80 percent of the people living with some form of dementia. It is estimated that there are about 5.7 million people currently living with Alzheimer’s in the US. With that number expected to grow rapidly in the coming years, it has never been more important to be able to recognize the signs.
1. Changes in Memory – It’s normal for your loved ones to forget things sometimes, one of the first noticeable symptoms of Alzheimer’s is when you start to notice lapses in memory occurring more and more frequently.
Questions to ask yourself are: Does your loved one ask the same questions repeatedly? Does your loved one forget the names of people they met more recently or younger family members? Is your loved one being uncharacteristically forgetful?
2. Changes in Mood – Significant shifts in mood or personality can be a warning sign of Alzheimer’s. This, however, may not be the most reliable indicator because other age-related reasons or other changes in medical conditions can also cause noticeable changes in mood.
Questions to ask yourself are: Does the person you love suddenly start to experience anxiety or get agitated more easily? Does your loved one begin to exhibit signs of depression or seem withdrawn? Has your loved one whose usually agreeable and patient become more aggressive and edgy?
3. Changes in Ability – If you have noticed your loved one struggling to complete tasks or follow their normal routines; this can be a sign of Alzheimer’s. It’s especially noticeable when they are having difficulty completing activities they usually love.
Questions to ask yourself: Does your loved one seem less interested in activities or hobbies that once captivated and excited them? Do you notice activities, like baking or fixing something, stopped in the middle of completing them?
These are only a few of the many signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Your loved one may also start to get confused by words more frequently. This might look like them “blanking” on a word or substituting similar words for each other. Your loved one may appear disoriented or confused, they may make questionable decisions or make inappropriate choices. It can be scary discovering your loved one may be developing Alzheimer’s. Freedom Home Care can help support you and your loved one from early to late-stage Alzheimer’s. Learn more about Freedom Home Care’s Alzheimer care services or about any of our other services here.