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Monday, 19 November 2018 09:11
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Early Signs of Alzheimer's Disease

Most of us have been there. We’ve misplaced our car keys, or forgotten the name of the new receptionist at the doctor’s office.

Sometimes we laugh it off as “senior moments,” while other times we panic and assume it’s the beginning of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, and we’re just going to get worse.

Hopefully, this article will help you understand when a memory lapse is just a momentary issue, and when it’s cause for concern.

Here are the top 5 warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease:

1. Memory Loss

Forgetfulness is a normal part of aging, but when it becomes so frequent or so severe that it disrupts daily life, that’s a sign that something is wrong.

Forgetting important dates or events like your birth date or Thanksgiving Day is one troubling sign. Other common early signs of Alzheimer’s are forgetting recently acquired information and  constantly needing things to be repeated.

Don’t worry: forgetting a name or an appointment from time to time is normal and expected, as long as you remember it later.

2. Difficulty with long-term planning and problem solving

Your loved one can’t follow a familiar recipe anymore, or is losing track of their regular bills? If they’ve previously managed these tasks just fine, this may be an early symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. Monitor their ability to concentrate, work with numbers, and follow a plan to a successful conclusion. If they continue to have difficulty, take them for an evaluation.

Don’t worry: making a mistake when you’re balancing your checkbook every now and then is not a sign of Alzheimer’s disease.

3. Confusion, especially with time or place

Alzheimer’s disease causes intense confusion as it progresses. Early signs are losing track of dates and seasons, as well as the passage of time. It’s concerning if your loved one doesn’t understand when you tell them something will happen “in two weeks.”

Don’t worry: it’s normal to sometimes forget what day of the week it is and need to count backward to remember.

4. Lost ability to retrace steps

Usually when people misplace something, they can retrace their steps to find it. If you can no longer do that, or you find yourself putting things away in inappropriate places, you should get evaluated for dementia. This can happen more and more frequently as time passes.

Don’t worry: we all tend to misplace things when we’re distracted, and as long as you can find them most of the time, you’re okay.

5. Social withdrawal

As daily life gets harder and once familiar tasks and hobbies become more difficult to keep up with, many people with early Alzheimer’s start withdrawing from the people and things they used to enjoy. They may or may not suspect why keeping up with life has suddenly become so difficult, so fear and/or depression may also play a part.

Changing moods and personalities is also an Alzheimer’s symptom, and can accelerate social withdrawal.

Don’t worry: sometimes feeling like you need a break from family or social obligations is normal, and not a sign of Alzheimer’s disease.

 

If you notice these signs of Alzheimer’s in an elderly loved one, or you’re experiencing them yourself, go for a medical examination immediately.

Keep in mind that lack of sleep, stress, and some illnesses can also cause these symptoms. If you are under age 65 and find yourself constantly forgetting important information, misplacing items, and making mistakes, rule out the other possible causes.

Ask yourself: Are you not sleeping enough? Are you under a lot of stress? Have you been feeling sick lately? Are you taking any medications that are known to cause dementia-like symptoms?

If the answer is “yes” to any of these, first try resolving those problems and see if your symptoms go away.

If you’re ever unsure about your symptoms, consult your doctor as soon as possible.

Judah

The Regency organization has become synonymous with the best in senior healthcare and has garnered a well deserved reputation for its unsurpassed commitment to its patients and residents.

The Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers and Facilities throughout New Jersey have achieved numerous industry ‘gold standard’ benchmarks and have received accolades from all corners of the HealthCare community.

Welcome to our website at www.RegencyNursing.com!

Warm Regards,

Judah

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