As families gather for the holidays, concerns about future care needs may become more apparent. The spouse or the adult children are often the first to notice changes in the routines of older family members.
Navigating memory issues can be difficult. Learn what the early warning signs are for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
10 Early Signs of Alzheimer’s or other dementia
1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life
Forgetting recently learned information (important dates or events, needing more reminders from family, etc.) is one of the most common signs of dementia.
2. Challenges in planning or solving problems
People living with dementia may experience changes in how they plan or work with numbers. For example, they may have trouble managing monthly bills.
3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks
People living with dementia may have trouble completing daily tasks, preparing a familiar recipe or organizing a grocery list.
4. Confusion with time or place
One early sign is losing track of the season or dates. A person experiencing memory issues may have trouble understanding something not immediately happening.
5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
Vision changes can be normal for older adults, as with cataracts or glaucoma. However, if a person also has problems judging distance, identifying color or has other vision issues while driving, these vision changes could be warning signs.
6. New problems with words in speaking or writing
Dementia related memory loss can also cause people to have trouble joining a conversation or following along. They may have trouble with vocabulary, such as not remembering the name of a familiar object.
7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
A person living with dementia may have trouble retracing their steps, may put things in unusual places or accuse people of stealing, especially as the disease progresses.
8. Decreased or poor judgment
A person living with dementia may have poor decision-making when dealing with money or may neglect personal hygiene.
9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
Sometimes people might avoid social activities or hobbies due to problems with following along with or holding conversation.
10. Changes in mood and personality
For those with memory impairment, changes to mood and personality are common. They may become more easily confused, depressed, worried or anxious. They can even easily become upset at home or among friends.
If someone is noticing signs of dementia, it can be difficult to know what to do and difficult to approach the subject of care. The Alzheimer’s Association has a 24/7 helpline (800) 272-3900 and can help with finding local support groups.
For those who are exploring memory care options, Wesley has helped countless families with accommodations and care for their loved ones. The Arbor memory care residence recognizes the unique needs of each individual with private apartments in a secure setting, 24 hour staffing, personalized care and activities programs, spiritual enrichment programs and regular housekeeping and maintenance.
Explore our interactive floor plans to see what apartments are available in The Arbor or contact us at (253) 435-8100 or by using the form below.