According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s Annual Disease Facts and Figures, 5.3 million people are currently suffering from Alzheimer’s*. As the sixth leading cause of death, it is more necessary than ever for sufferers to be properly diagnosed and treated for the disease as early as possible.
While in advanced cases the warning signs are obvious, by identifying them early on, your loved one can receive the maximum benefit from available treatments and Alzheimer’s care. There are ten main warning signs to watch out for, which include:
1. Memory loss that affects daily life – Forgetting things that were recently learned is a common indicator of Alzheimer’s.
2. Difficulty with vision – Challenges with spatial relationships and visual images can actually be a sign of Alzheimer’s. Trouble determining color and distance are common problems associated with the disease.
3. Difficulty in planning or solving problems – Following directions or problems with numbers can become a challenge for people suffering from Dementia or Alzheimer’s.
4. Challenges with tasks associated with work, home or leisure – Trouble traveling to a familiar location or remembering the rules to a favorite game are common.
5. Withdrawal from work or social activities – Abandoning activities that used to provide joy can be a sign of a larger problem.
6. Disorientation – A basic confusion with time and place. Forgetting dates, seasons and time. It is common for an Alzheimer’s patient to forget how they got somewhere.
7. Facing new challenges with words – Whether in speaking or writing, Alzheimer’s patients tend to lose their words at times. Stopping in the middle of a sentence or forgetting words is typical behavior.
8. Decreased judgment – Making daily decisions with finances and spending money can sometimes become a challenge.
9. Misplacing things – Placing things in unusual places or losing things altogether is a common warning sign.
10. Mood swings or changes in personality – Being confused, angry, depressed, scared or anxious on a regular basis can be warning signs of Alzheimer’s
While these are not the only symptoms of Alzheimer’s and while symptoms can vary depending on the individual, it is important to recognize them as early as possible.