What Are the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Posted on September 1, 2023

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Accounting for 60-80 percent of cases, it is the most common type of dementia. While Alzheimer’s disease usually affects individuals over the age of 65, early-onset Alzheimer’s can also occur in younger adults, so recognizing the warning signs is crucial for early diagnosis and intervention.

So, what are the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease? As a memory care provider in Tennessee, our team at The Pavilion Senior Living is answering this question.

1. Memory Loss

One of the hallmark signs of Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss which disrupts daily activities. While occasional memory lapses are normal, individuals with Alzheimer’s disease often forget recently learned information, important dates, and events. They may repeatedly ask the same questions or rely heavily on memory aids, such as notes or electronic devices, to remember information.

2. Difficulty with Problem-Solving

Alzheimer’s disease can impact an individual’s ability to plan and solve problems. They may have difficulty with tasks that require critical thinking, such as following a recipe, managing finances, or organizing a schedule. Complex mental tasks that once were routine could become challenging and frustrating.

3. Disorientation and Confusion

People with Alzheimer’s disease may become disoriented in familiar places, even in their own homes. They might have difficulty understanding the time, date, or current location. These individuals may also experience confusion about the identities of family members or friends, leading to increased anxiety and agitation.

4. Challenges with Familiar Tasks

Everyday activities, like dressing, grooming, or preparing meals, can become difficult for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. They may forget the steps involved in these tasks or the order in which they should be completed. As a result, this can lead to decreased personal care and hygiene.

5. Trouble with Language

Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease often experience difficulty with language, both speaking and writing. They may be unable to find the right words or call an object by the wrong name in conversations. Following and participating in discussions can become challenging, which may lead to individuals withdrawing from social situations.

6. Decreased or Poor Judgment

Alzheimer’s disease can impair an individual’s decision-making abilities and judgment. They may make uncharacteristic financial choices or display poor judgment in personal matters, such as wearing a winter jacket in the middle of summer.

7. Withdrawal from Social Activities

A person with Alzheimer’s disease may gradually withdraw from social engagements and hobbies they once enjoyed. The changes in cognition and communication can make them feel embarrassed, frustrated, or self-conscious, leading to isolation from friends and family.

8. Mood and Personality Changes

Mood swings and personality shifts are common in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. They might become irritable, anxious, or suspicious, particularly in unfamiliar situations. These changes can cause distress for both the person with Alzheimer’s disease and their loved ones.

9. Misplacing Items

We all misplace things from time to time, but individuals with Alzheimer’s disease often misplace items and are unable to retrace their steps to find them. As the condition progresses, this behavior may escalate, leading to accusations of theft or paranoia.

10. Difficulty with Visual and Spatial Relationships

Vision trouble could also be a warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease, leading to difficulty with balance or reading. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, individuals with this condition “may also have problems judging distance and determining color or contrast.”

If you or someone you love is experiencing one or more of these warning signs, this does not necessarily indicate Alzheimer’s disease. Memory issues and cognitive changes can result from other factors such as stress, depression, medication side effects, or other health conditions. However, if these signs are persistent, worsen, or interfere with daily life, it is crucial to seek a medical evaluation from a qualified healthcare professional.

Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease allows for appropriate medical management and lifestyle adjustments, which can enhance the overall well-being of individuals living with the condition. Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, certain interventions, like our compassionate memory care programs in Tennessee, can help manage symptoms and provide a better quality of life.

If you would like to learn more about our memory care communities in Tennessee, we invite you to explore our website or contact a member of The Pavilion Senior Living team.

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