Alzheimer’s slowly affects those with the disease, gradually robbing them of memory and cognitive function. Catching the disease early allows patients and their families take steps to minimize its impact, slowing the progression of the disease to a crawl. Knowing early signs of Alzheimer’s can help patients stave off the worst effects of the illness and plan to reduce elder care costs.
Common Early Signs of Alzheimer’s
- Memory problems are among the easiest early warning signs to identify. Seniors will begin having difficulty in remembering things that once came easily to them. They may begin relying on memory aides, such as sticky notes, or asking repeatedly for the same information.
- Losing track of time and place is another of Alzheimer’s warning sign. Alzheimer’s sufferers often easily lose track of what date or season it is , and they can have trouble understanding things that happened in the past or which will happen later.
- Difficulty with numbers. People with Alzheimer’s often begin having trouble with numbers, experiencing difficulty in balancing their checkbooks or adding up a bill.
- Trouble with spatial relationships and vision. Alzheimer’s sufferers may begin having trouble judging distances or determining color or contrast. They may also begin to have problems reading.
- Conversational problems. A common sign of Alzheimer’s disease is difficulty in keeping up with a conversation. Alzheimer’s sufferers may begin tripping over their words, or have difficulty in pulling up the right words for common objects.
- Issues with good judgment. Alzheimer’s sufferers may begin to have problems with judgment and decision making, such as budgeting their money, taking risks, or identifying potential problems. They may also take less care with personal grooming, and may require home care workers to help.
- Personality changes and withdrawal. A possible early warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease is increased irritability, particularly when they’re out of their comfort zone. Alzheimer’s sufferers may begin to withdraw from friends and family, as well.
- Losing items and getting lost. Alzheimer’s sufferers often have difficulty keeping up with keys and glasses, among other items. They may also have difficulty in retracing their steps to their vehicle while out shopping.
Nationwide, about 5 million people are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and more than two-thirds of those are women. As the Baby Boom generation ages, this number is expected to triple. A proactive approach to mental health and acuity among seniors can help ease the burden of providing senior care. That involves catching the illness early, and encouraging treatment and activity designed to halt its progression.
Always Best Care is a home health and assisted living franchise that helps connect seniors with affordable in-home care, assisted living placement, and home health services. In business for nearly 20 years, the company has helped more than 25,000 seniors find quality care.